LITTLE ROCK—The mastermind of a multi-million dollar kickback conspiracy was convicted today. Brad Duke, 47, of Little Rock was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $1,055,855.86 by U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller.
Duke promoted prescription pain creams, scar creams and supplements for a Mississippi-based compounding pharmacy, earning a share of everything the pharmacy was paid for prescriptions dispensed by Duke affiliated physicians . After learning that TRICARE, the National Army’s health insurer, was paying tens of thousands of dollars a month per patient for the compound drugs it was promoting, Duke began offering and paying kickbacks. -vin to generate prescriptions for those who had TRICARE insurance.
Duke paid bribes to recruiters, including Michael “Chance” Beeman (52, of Maumelle), Michael Sean Brady (53, of Little Rock), Jason Greene (35, of Nashville, Tenn.) , Brian Means (47, of Fort Smith), and Jennifer Sorenson (44, of McKinney, Texas), to find TRICARE beneficiaries nationwide ready to receive the drugs. Duke explained that a doctor would sign the necessary prescriptions without ever consulting the patients. All Duke needed was enough TRICARE beneficiary insurance information to fill out the prescription forms.
Upon receiving beneficiary information from its recruiters, Duke routed prescriptions on behalf of TRICARE beneficiaries to local medical assistant Charlotte Leija (41, of Conway), whom Duke bribed, usually $1,000 per prescription, to file the prescriptions under the name of the doctor she worked for.
In one year, Duke’s program has generated more than $10 million in compound drug prescriptions for more than 100 TRICARE beneficiaries from as far west as Chula Vista, Calif., to the far is from Foxborough, Massachusetts. No one has ever consulted a prescriber. Duke paid its recruiters more than $2 million to supply the recipients and more than $250,000 to Leija to deliver the prescriptions.
Judge Miller previously sentenced co-conspirators Brady, Beeman, Green, Means, Sorenson and Leija to prison terms ranging from 8 months to 28 months and ordered them to confiscate the illicit proceeds ranging from $198,799.00 to $598,435.99. At the time of today’s sentencing hearing, US Marshals had already seized $1,055,855.86 from Duke.
The investigation was led by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander D.Morgan.
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