Panama City Beach man, three others charged in kickback scheme

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four Florida men were charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday for their alleged participation in a compound pharmacy kickback scheme.

Edward Christopher White, 38, of Panama City Beach, Florida, James Wesley Moss, 57, of Zephyrhills, Florida, David Byron Copeland, 52, of Tallahassee, Florida, and Michael Alton Gordon, 56, of Ft. Myers, Florida, were each charged in an indictment filed in the Middle District of Florida with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay or receive health care kickbacks.

In addition, Moss was charged with six counts of offering or paying health care kickbacks and one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, ketamine; White was charged with four counts of soliciting or receiving health care kickbacks; Copeland was charged with two counts of soliciting or receiving health care kickbacks and three counts of offering or paying health care kickbacks; and Gordon was charged with three counts of soliciting or receiving health care kickbacks.  The defendants will be arraigned in the Middle District of Florida at a later date.

Federal prosecutors wrote in a news release that the defendants participated in a multi-million dollar conspiracy to defraud TRICARE, a federal health care benefit program. 

TRICARE is the health care benefit program of the U.S. Department of Defense that provides health care coverage for active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families and survivors. 

The indictment states that Moss and others owned and operated Florida Pharmacy Solutions Inc. (FPS) for the purpose of targeting TRICARE beneficiaries and causing the submission to TRICARE of claims for expensive prescription compounded drugs that were not legitimately prescribed because they were induced and procured by the payment of illegal kickbacks and bribes.  The indictment alleges that between approximately November 2012 and September 2015, the defendants caused the submission to TRICARE of more than $54 million in claims for prescription compounded drugs and that TRICARE paid a total of more than $42 million to FPS on those claims.

The indictment further alleges that Moss paid more than $20 million in health care kickbacks to White, Copeland and Gordon in return for their procuring and referring prescriptions for compounded drugs for TRICARE beneficiaries to be filled by FPS.  FPS allegedly submitted claims for payment to TRICARE for providing prescription compounded drugs to TRICARE beneficiaries living in approximately 30 states and several foreign countries.

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