Mississippi pharmacist gets 5 years for $180M health fraud

January 26, 2022 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi pharmacist was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for a multimillion dollar scheme to defraud private insurance companies and a healthcare program for military members, retirees and their families.

David Rutland, 42, of Bolton, pleaded guilty to getting paid kickbacks to distributors for the referral of medically unnecessary prescriptions, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release. The scheme resulted in more than $180 million in fraudulent billings, including more than $50 million by federal health care programs.

According to court documents, the pharmacist and co-owner of compounding pharmacies schemed to defraud TRICARE, the military health care program, and other health care benefit programs by distributing medically unnecessary compounded medications. Rutland adjusted prescription formulas to ensure the highest reimbursement, investigators said.

In addition to the prison term, Rutland was ordered to pay restitution and forfeit all assets traced to his illegal activity.