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Avoiding Criminal Charges in Tricare Compound Pharmacy Investigations

Categories: Compound Pharmacy Fraud

Tricare Compound Pharmacy Investigations

 

Dr. Nick Oberheiden, Esq.
www.federal-lawyer.com
1-800-810-0259
Including Weekends

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has represented pharmacies, pharmacy owners, marketers, physicians, and healthcare executives in compound pharmacy investigations across the United States. Our attorneys have provided individuals and companies effective tools to approach Express Scripts audits, grand jury subpoenas, telemedicine investigations, and criminal prosecutions. We have concluded several Tricare Fraud investigations with the outcome of no criminal charges against our clients.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP

Our Healthcare Fraud Defense Group is comprised of former Department of Justice prosecutors and experienced healthcare fraud defense attorneys. Lynette Byrd is a former Assistant United States Attorney with extensive experience in civil healthcare prosecutions. Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a healthcare fraud defense attorney and managing principal of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP.

Tricare Compound Pharmacy Cases

Starting in 2015, compound pharmacy investigations have mushroomed across the United States. Today, most of the 96 U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the United States have one or multiple compound pharmacy investigations pending, with the vast majority of these prosecutions being criminal and not civil in nature. Centers of investigations are the Southern District of California (San Diego), the Southern District of Florida (Tampa/Miami), as well as the Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

The government investigates pharmacy owners, prescribing physicians, and marketing groups for their respective role in Tricare and Department of Labor compound prescriptions in the years 2013-2015. The government’s position is that marketers, doctors, and pharmacies criminally conspired to defraud the federal government by ordering, in the government’s perspective, ineffective, unused, and medically unnecessary compound prescriptions for beneficiaries of a federal healthcare program, in particular Tricare and federal workers’ compensation. Almost no day passes without new media stories, criminal indictments, or fear of prosecution. Most of our clients ask us the following pressing questions:

  • Who investigates Tricare Fraud?
  • Are the investigations civil or criminal?
  • Can I go to prison for my role in the alleged conspiracy?
  • How does the government determine my level of culpability?
  • Why am I investigated when thousands of others are unaffected?

Of course, precise answers to those questions depend on the particular facts of each case. Nonetheless, it appears that the government has shut the doors for resolving compound cases without recourse to criminal prosecutions. While early cases resulted in civil settlements, the government now considers compound pharmacy cases criminal in nature. Typically, the Department of Defense (DOD), as the agency overseeing military and Tricare affairs, leads the investigations, assisted by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). As in other healthcare fraud cases, the government assesses the potential culpability of every co-conspirator on a damage calculation analysis as suggested by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Put simply, the more damage someone has caused to a government program like Tricare, the higher the likely sentence. Given the large quantity of participants in the compound business in 2015 and 2014, it is possible that the wave of prosecutions could last until 2018, or even longer.

The attorneys at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP have demonstrated over and over again that they can defeat federal healthcare fraud allegations. If you were contacted by federal agents, received a government subpoena, or became aware of a possible criminal investigation against a former business partner or your own company, you should speak directly with one of our former prosecutors and experienced defense attorneys. Consultation calls are free and confidential.

Proven Strategies in Tricare Fraud Cases

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has handled Tricare proceedings in close to 20 states, including but not limited to Texas, California, North Carolina, New Jersey, Mississippi, Iowa, Louisiana, Colorado, and Florida. While the right defense strategy depends on the specific circumstances of each case, our attorneys noticed that an early engagement by a client offers the best chances to avoid criminal charges and the greatest chance to impact the case outcome.

  1. Early Intervention. The earlier an experienced attorney represents a client in a healthcare fraud investigation, the greater the chances to impact the outcome of the case. The goal of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is to find answers to the most pressing questions within the first hours of an engagement. What is the case about? Who are the main targets? What are the government’s objectives in my case? Will I get arrested? Will I go to jail? What can be done to avoid criminal prosecution? Answers to these basic questions help us tremendously to prepare an effective defense plan for our clients and to determine the appropriate strategy moving forward in the case.
  1. Responding to Government Subpoenas. Grand Jury Subpoenas are tricky because they may order a business or an individual to produce documents that could potentially be self-incriminating. Whether it is your former business partner or your own business that has been subpoenaed, caution is in order. Experienced attorneys should be consulted to carefully filter information and determine which documents to produce. Especially if the subpoena asks for an appearance before the Grand Jury to testify, subpoena recipients must understand that such testimony will be essential for the jurors’ decision to indict another person and could even lead to an indictment of the witness. Our attorneys have repeatedly avoided Grand Jury testimony for our clients and we are experienced to handle Grand Jury subpoenas.
  1. Cooperation or Confrontation. Among the most difficult decisions in a criminal case is the decision whether or not to cooperate with the government. On the one hand, doing so may mean an admission of criminal guilt, but also the opportunity to get a “good deal.” On the other hand, not doing so may mean to challenge the government and to go to trial. At times, the government offers defendants or potential defendants the opportunity to speak to the prosecutors and, by being forthcoming, to either avoid or mitigate criminal exposure. While the idea to absolve oneself sounds tempting, it often comes down to a question of timing and long-term strategy. Clients who want to hastily volunteer information may self-incriminate themselves by giving information the government may have never found out. Experienced attorneys, familiar with the overall landscape of Tricare prosecutions should be consulted to make this critical decision a good one.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has repeatedly convinced the government in healthcare fraud cases that errors and legal misunderstandings, to the extent they existed, occurred accidentally and do not call for or justify criminal prosecution. If you are exposed to Tricare Fraud charges, you should immediately speak with the experienced attorneys at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP to find avenues of avoiding criminal charges.

Our Track Record

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has appeared in Tricare Fraud, compound pharmacy, and toxicology laboratory investigations across the United States. With many cases still pending, we have been involved in the following matters.

  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Pharmacy)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Laboratory)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Laboratory)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Laboratory)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Physician)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Marketing Group)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Marketing Group)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Marketing Group)
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Tricare Fraud Investigation (Marketing Group)
    Result: No criminal charges.

Free Consultation

If you are being investigated for potential involvement in Tricare or Department of Labor compound referrals, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP. Request a free and confidential consultation and benefit from talking to former federal prosecutors and experienced defense attorneys.

Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP
(800) 810-0259
www.federal-lawyer.com
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.

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