Georgia Man, Erik Santos Sentenced to 135 Months’ Imprisonment for Role in Health Care Fraud Scheme Against Tricare
Miami, FL (STL.News) A Georgia man was sentenced yesterday to over 11 years in federal prison for defrauding Tricare of approximately $12 million through a South Florida compounding pharmacy fraud scheme. Tricare is the health care benefit program covering military personnel and their dependents.
According to court documents, 51-year-old Erik Santos and his co-conspirators ran the scheme as follows: Santos paid recruiters to convince Tricare beneficiaries to fill prescriptions for expensive, supposedly tailor-made, compounded medications that the beneficiaries did not need. Santos paid doctors to approve pre-printed prescriptions for large amounts of these medications. The doctors did not see the beneficiaries or otherwise consider their medical needs before approving the prescriptions. Lastly, Santos steered the Tricare beneficiaries to fill their prescriptions with Patient Care America (PCA), a compounding pharmacy located in Broward County, Florida. PCA would bill Tricare for expensive drug formulations that had little to no therapeutic value. Many of the compounded medications were billed to Tricare at $10,000 to $15,000 for a month’s supply, even though the ingredients used in the mixtures were little more than common pain or scar creams.