Compounding Pharmacy and Owner Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud and Kickback Scheme that Led to $14 Million in Payments
LOS ANGELES (STL.News) A West Los Angeles pharmacy and its owner pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges stemming from a scheme in which millions of dollars in reimbursements for compounded drugs were generated through the payment of illegal kickbacks for patient referrals and by fraudulently paying patients’ copayments.
Navid Vahedi, 41, of Brentwood, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and payment of illegal remunerations. Vahedi today also entered a guilty plea to the felony offense on behalf of his business, Fusion Rx Compounding Pharmacy.
Fusion Rx was a provider of compounded drugs, which are tailor-made products doctors may prescribe when the FDA-approved alternative does not meet the health needs of a patient. In their plea agreements, Vahedi and Fusion Rx admitted routing millions of dollars in kickback payments through the businesses of two marketers to steer prescriptions for compounded drugs to Fusion Rx. As part of the scheme, Vahedi and the two marketers provided physicians with preprinted prescription script pads that offered “check-the-box” options on the form to maximize the amount of insurance reimbursement for the compounded drugs.