FL: Pensacola pharmacy owner convicted in federal court on fraud charges

Pensacola News Report –

Fisher is not a licensed pharmacist, and the indictment further alleges that he “directed his employees to use ingredient formulations for the drugs that would maximize the amount his pharmacy could bill to TRICARE and other companies, without regard to what was medically necessary

The owner of a Pensacola pharmacy was convicted in federal court Monday of conspiring to fill prescriptions that he knew were not based on legitimate doctor-patient relationships.

Andrew E. Fisher, 34, the owner and operator of Physician Specialty Pharmacy in Pensacola, was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a press release by U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe.

The indictment alleges that Fisher conspired to defraud insurance companies like TRICARE through fraudulent claims of more than $4.8 million, for medical supplies such as pain cream, scar cream, and wellness capsules, according to Keefe.

“Fisher allegedly paid commissions to the marketing representatives who recruited individuals to receive the compounded drug prescriptions,” Keefe wrote in a written release.

Fisher is not a licensed pharmacist, and the indictment further alleges that he “directed his employees to use ingredient formulations for the drugs that would maximize the amount his pharmacy could bill to TRICARE and other companies, without regard to what was medically necessary,” according to Keefe’s written release.

Fisher, of Gulf Breeze, faces up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to May 22.

Trial evidence showed that between October 2014 and December 2015, Fisher conspired to use his pharmacy to defraud more than $4.8 million from TRICARE, a federal health care program for service members, retirees and their families, and then laundering the money generated by the fraud, according to Keefe.

“This conspiracy stole from taxpayers at the expense of the health and well-being of heroes who willingly served our nation or supported loved ones as they did so,” Keefe said in the news release. “This is a flagrant and shocking violation of the public trust, and this conviction proves we will not allow such actions to continue.”

Five co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty in two related cases.

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