For many months now, the Allegiant Experts Blog has kept a close eye on the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our country. In several of our blog posts, we have highlighted the staggering statistics concerning overdoses leading to death due to opioid abuse. Law officials nationwide have worked tirelessly to bring perpetrators of illegal drug distribution to justice.
Just last month, nearly 60 doctors, pharmacists and other medical workers were charged in a federal opioid sting. As reported by Carrie Johnson of National Public Radio, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski noted that the cases involved more than 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and more than 32 million pills. He called it the equivalent of a dose of opioids for “every man, woman and child,” across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia.
Nevertheless, the opioid crisis continues.
While the Justice Department is cracking down on the opioid epidemic, there are still far too many individuals working in the medical field who continue to cash in on illegal activity. Las Vegas’ Alejandro “Alex” Incera is one of them. Also known as Alexander Jiminez-Incera, the 48 year-old Advance Practice Registered Nurse was sentenced yesterday to 78 months in federal prison.
As reported by the District of Nevada branch of the United States Department of Justice, Incera was charged with unlawfully dispensing prescription opioids as well as Medicare and Medicaid fraud. His sentencing also includes three years of supervised release and an order for restitution to be paid in the amount of $3,749,121.29.
Incera worked with co-conspirators to illegally distribute opioids.
According to the DoJ report, Incera pleaded guilty to eight counts of distribution of controlled substance and eight counts of health care fraud. “From January 2018 to about May 2018, Incera had an agreement with co-defendants Robert D. Harvey, a surgical technician, and Dr. Horace P. Guerra to distribute Hydrocodone and Oxycodone to patients without a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments,” reveals the report.
“Incera wrote illegal opioid prescriptions on prescriptions with his name and DEA number for patients without a medical purpose,” it continues, “Furthermore, between July 2016 to about December 2017, Incera defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by writing Lidocaine, Modafinil, and Diclofenac Sodium prescriptions to patients without a legitimate medical purpose and at times without having examined the patient at all.”
Incera also paid Atlas Pharmacy about $30,000 in exchange for patient referrals.
The pharmacy also took on the responsibility of filling and processing the phony prescriptions. In total, Medicare and Medicaid were bilked out of approximately $3.7 million. Incera’s co-conspirators Guerra and Harvey were sentenced to 12 months and six months in federal prison, respectively. They both face three years of supervised release following their incarcerations.
Are you an attorney who is currently trying a health care fraud case?
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