Former Aegerion sales rep defrauded insurers, stole identities to push cholesterol drug

A federal jury in Boston convicted a former Aegerion Pharmaceuticals sales representative of defrauding insurance companies to push sales of a high-risk cholesterol drug and stealing identities of several physicians to carry out the scheme. 

Mark Moffett was convicted Dec. 19 of nine counts of wire fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft. 

Mr. Moffett worked as a sales representative at Aegerion in 2014 and 2015, where he marketed Juxtapid, the drugmaker's cholesterol drug that was FDA approved only to treat high cholesterol in patients with a rare genetic disease called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. It was only approved for these patients because it had serious side effects, including liver damage. 

Juxtapid costs more than $300,000 per year. Mr. Moffett persuaded physicians to prescribe the drug for patients without HoFH and received bonuses from Aegerion of up to $11,000 for each Juxtapid prescription he sold. 

Mr. Moffett also persuaded Medicare and private insurers to pay for the drug — even though they only covered it for FDA-approved uses — by obtaining fraudulent prescriptions and falsifying documents, including statements of medical necessity and other insurance documents. 

The false documents included false patient test results, false clinical histories and false diagnoses. Mr. Moffett used the identities of several cardiologists to make the false documents. 

The charge of aggravated identity theft has a mandatory minimum sentence of two years, and the charges of wire fraud could lead to as many as 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. 

Mr. Moffett is scheduled to be sentenced in April. 

Read the full news release here

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