Pharmacy owner convicted in $4.8M Tricare fraud and money laundering conspiracies

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Andrew E. Fisher, 34, the owner and operator of Physician Specialty Pharmacy (PSP) in Pensacola was convicted on Monday for conspiracy to defraud and launder over $4.8 million from TRICARE, a federal health program designed for uniformed service members, retirees and their families. According to a U.S Attorney Lawrence Keefe, Fisher is accused of conspiring to steal from taxpayers without considering the health and well-being of heroes who are serving the nation with passion and commitment. Evidence presented at court showed the Fisher conspired with Michael Scott Burton, a sales representative and several others to defraud TRICARE of more than $4.8 million between October 2014 and December 2015.

Fisher agreed to fill prescriptions at PSP from a doctor’s office in Georgia whose beneficiary information was provided by Burton and individuals working for him, knowing that these particular beneficiaries had never seen that doctor and the prescriptions were not based on a legitimate doctor-patient relationship. 50% of the total money paid to Fisher in insurance reimbursements for employing TRICARE beneficiaries to receive the prescriptions was laundered through wire transfer and direct deposits into Burton’s bank account in Georgia.

The evidence further showed that Fisher, being a non-licensed pharmacist, instructed his employees to use ingredients formulations that would increase the bill for TRICARE, an increase to $17,000 from $10,000. As part of the conspiracy, Fisher also purchased Jay Pharmacy in Jay and used its existing insurance contracts with TRICARE and others to bill for fraudulent PSP prescriptions. Fisher and other five co-conspirators have pled guilty for two-related cases. Burton was sentenced to 96 months in prison, Bradley D. Pounds was sentenced to 21 months in prison, and Marie Ann Smith and Heather E. Pounds were sentenced to probation. Brad T. Hodgson is still awaiting sentencing. Fisher’s sentencing has been set for May 22 at 10 a.m.