Compounding Pharmacy Mogul Sentenced for Multimillion-Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme
(STL.News) A Mississippi businessman was sentenced for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE, the health care benefit program serving U.S. military, veterans, and their respective family members, as well as private health care benefit programs.
Wade Ashley Walters, 54, of Hattiesburg, a co-owner of numerous compounding pharmacies and pharmaceutical distributors, was sentenced on his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett of the Southern District of Mississippi ordered Walters to serve a total of 18 years in prison and to pay $287,659,569 in restitution. Walters was remanded into custody following the sentencing hearing. Walters was further ordered to forfeit $56,565,963, representing the proceeds he personally derived from the fraud scheme.
“The fraud committed by Walters and others in this investigation wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and deprived individuals of needed medical care,” said David P. Burns, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “significant sentence signifies that we will continue to stand with our agency partners to root out health care fraud schemes and see their perpetrators brought to justice.”
Between 2012 and 2016, Walters orchestrated a scheme to defraud TRICARE and other health care benefit programs by distributing compounded medications that were not medically necessary.