Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to paying nursing homes for unused meds in $2 million scheme

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A pharmacy owner in Louisiana bribed nursing home workers to return unused medications, then repackaged and resold them, according to allegations in a $2.2 million Medicare fraud case, state and federal authorities recently announced.

Mona Patrice Carter, 47, pleaded guilty to the healthcare fraud charge in federal court, according to the Department of Justice. She will be sentenced at a later date.

As owner of Baton Rouge's Community Pharmacy 1, Carter paid workers at client nursing homes and mental health facilities to collect and return unused prescription drugs to her company. She admitted paying these workers in increments of $100 and $300 dollars, according to the plea agreement.

Carter then had Community Pharmacy workers repackage the drugs and she redistributed them, passing them off as new and billing Medicare for them again. In this way, she racked up $2.25 million in fraudulent billings between 2008 and 2013, the authorities said.

The DOJ did not identify which nursing homes employed workers who were involved.

Carter could face 10 years in prison and fines, the Bureau of National Affairs reported.

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