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Texas Trio Convicted Of $145 Million Compounded Pain Cream Fraud Scheme


On behalf of the entire Allegiant Experts team, we would like to wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! Especially since there has been so much turmoil in our world, as of late, we sincerely hope your holiday celebrations are adorned with an abundance of gratitude. We wish a celebration complete with the warmth of laughter and the richness of cherished company. May the feast on your table be matched only by the overflowing joy in your hearts!


Texas trio convicted of fraud.


This past Friday, the Office of Public Affairs announced that three Texas men were convicted for their roles in a $145 million fraud scheme. 59 year-old Dehshid “David” Nourian, 47 year-old Christopher Rydberg and 59 year-old Dr. Michael Taba were the three defendants in the case. The trio was guilty of defrauding the Department of Labor through the submission of fraudulent claims for prescription compound creams.


Compounded pain creams are generally comprised of pain-treating ingredients such as lidocaine, benzocaine, tetracaine or cannabinoids (CBD). They deliver the ingredients through the skin to tissues in the body that are hurting, functioning as an anesthetic.


“Compounded pain creams offer certain advantages, in that they don’t always have the same strong side effects as many oral pain-relief medications and may be gentler on the digestive system,” informs Clearing.com, “The right cream can sometimes replace cumbersome braces or troubling opioids; it can also be soothing to rub the cream directly onto the area it hurts.”


Along with a number of other doctors, the three men prescribed medically unnecessary compound creams to injured federal workers. As the report details, Nourian and Rydberg owned and/or operated three pharmacies. They were located in Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas. Both men paid Taba for referring expensive compound medications to be filled by their pharmacies.


The fraud took place over a span of nearly three years.


Between May 2014 and March 2017, the pharmacies billed the Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (DOL-OWCP) and Blue Cross Blue Shield more than $145 million. The men were paid more than $90 million for unnecessary prescriptions referred by Taba and other providers in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.


“Nourian, Rydberg, and others then attempted to conceal their ill-gotten gains by laundering the money through purported holding companies and attempted to evade paying federal income taxes on the illicit proceeds,” the report details.


All three men were convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud each. Nourian was convicted of eight counts of health care fraud while Taba was convicted of three. Each count carries a maximum penalty of ten years.


Nourian and Rydberg were also convicted of one count of conspiracy to launder money and five and six counts of money laundering, respectively. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.


Are you an attorney who is currently working a healthcare fraud case?


The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts can help you! We coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.


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