63 years in prison cumulatively for physician, 8 others in $126M Tricare fraud

Texas physician James Don Jackson, MD, and eight others including three pharmacy owners, two pharmacists and three patient recruiters, were sentenced for their roles in a $126 million compounding pharmacy fraud scheme designed to bilk workers' compensation programs and Tricare, the Justice Department said April 14.

Dr. Jackson, 63, was sentenced to five years in prison, the department said. Former compounding pharmacy co-owners John Cruise, LaShonia Johnson and Kenny Ozoude were sentenced to 20 years, 20 years and 15 years in prison, respectively.

Pharmacists Nirvana Hightower and Keith Hudson were sentenced to five and three years, respectively, the department said.

Along with three patient recruiters and others, the group submitted fraudulent claims to Tricare and the Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs for prescriptions prescribed to injured federal workers and armed forces members. Defendants paid kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians to prescribe the drugs, which were chosen based on their reimbursement amounts.

The drugs were then mailed to patients, who often hadn't requested or needed them, the department said.

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