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Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

 

Brian McGinn
Phone434-295-8672
Fax :  434- 293-4910
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Websitewww.usdoj.gov/usao/vaw

United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Virginia
United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy

Joint release from Attorney General Mark Herring and U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy...

Former Roanoke doctor convicted of drug distribution charges

~Jury convicted Linda Sue Cheek on 172 counts related to illegal distribution of controlled substances~

ROANOKE  (February 22, 2013) - A former medical doctor from Dublin, Va. was convicted late Thursday evening on 172 of the 173 counts related to the illegal distribution of controlled substances.  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Tim Heaphy made the announcement after Linda Sue Cheek, 63, was convicted by a jury on all but one of the counts leveled against her following an eight day trial in the United States District Court in Roanoke.

In May, a Federal Grand Jury charged Cheek with 86 counts of distributing scheduled controlled substances without holding a valid certificate of DEA registration, 81 counts of using a DEA registration number issued to another person, five counts of using a DEA registration number which has been revoked or suspended, and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premise.

"Dr. Cheek broke the law over and over again by illegally prescribing pain medication and exploiting vulnerable patients," said Attorney General Cuccinelli. "We will not tolerate criminal behavior as a 'cost of doing business' or for purposes of greed. We will continue our fight to protect Virginia's most vulnerable citizens."

"Despite losing her license to prescribe medication, Dr. Cheek repeatedly provided pain medication to vulnerable patients," Heaphy said. "Her motive was greed, and she collected thousands of dollars over the course of her illegal scheme.  The abuse of prescription drugs in Southwest Virginia is a public health crisis, one that is tearing families apart. We will continue to investigate and prosecute health care provides like Linda Cheek who circumvent the rules and illegally dispense these highly addictive substances."
               
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Virginia State Police and the Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Vaso T. Doubles and Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L.M. Waering are prosecuting the case for the United States.


 

 
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Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Attorney General Cuccinelli announces settlement with Texas-based pharmaceutical manufacturer for illegal marketing of Xenaderm

~Virginia's Medicaid program to receive more than $223,000 in settlement~

RICHMOND (February 27, 2013) - Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced that his office has reached a settlement with Texas-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Healthpoint, Ltd. and its general partner, DFB Pharmaceuticals, for the illegal marketing of Xenaderm, a topical treatment for skin ulcers. The attorney general said that the agreement will resolve allegations that Healthpoint submitted false claims to Virginia's Medicaid program for the unapproved drug. 

The settlement resolves federal and state False Claims Act cases brought against Healthpoint in the U.S. Federal District Court in Massachusetts. The cases were brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and fifteen plaintiff states.  As part of a $48 million settlement announced by the Department of Justice on December 6, 2012, Healthpoint and DFB will pay approximately $33 million total to settle Medicaid-based claims nationally.  The settlement will return $223,283.17 to the commonwealth's Medicaid program.

The federal and state complaints alleged Healthpoint marketed Xenaderm without FDA approval by modeling it on a pre-1962 drug that the FDA had never reviewed. Additionally, Healthpoint marketed the drug in spite of the FDA's determination in the 1970s that Xenaderm's principal ingredient was "less-than-effective" for its intended use.  Since 1981, federal health care programs, including Medicaid, have not paid for "less-than-effective" drugs or drugs "identical, related, or similar" to "less-than-effective" drugs.  According to the federal and state complaints, Healthpoint still misrepresented the regulatory status of Xenaderm when it submitted quarterly reports to the government and, as a result, knowingly submitted false Xenaderm claims to Medicaid programs.

A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU) team participated in the settlement negotiations with Healthpoint on behalf of the settling states.  Team members included representatives from attorney general's offices of Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Massachusetts.  Assistant Attorney General Megan L. F. Holt served on the NAMFCU Settlement Team. 

 

**The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.

 
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Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Former Saltville Rescue Squad president sentenced for fraudulently billing Medicare more than $1.6 million

~Eddie Louthian Sr. to serve 48 months in federal prison~

ABINGDON (March 21, 2013)-- The former president of the Saltville Rescue Squad was sentenced late yesterday on healthcare fraud charges for fraudulently billing Medicare approximately $1,650,000 and receiving approximately $750,000 in reimbursements for Medicare ambulance transports. Additionally, the defendant fraudulently billed Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield approximately $1,000,000, and fraudulently received approximately $130,000 in reimbursements for ambulance transports. The defendant was also found guilty of submitting fraudulent trip sheets and Certificates of Medical Necessity forms for billing purposes in addition to making false statements before a federal grand jury.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Tim Heaphy announced today that Eddie Wayne Louthian Sr., 60, of Saltville, was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of making false statements in relation to a healthcare matter, and one count of making a false statement to a federal grand jury. Louthian was sentenced to 48 months in prison by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon.

"Not only did Mr. Louthian defraud the Medicare system of hundreds of thousands of dollars, he also robbed from seniors in need of medical care.  Fraud like his inevitably drives prices up for medical services, which all of us end up paying for," said Cuccinelli.

"Mr. Louthian used the Saltville Rescue Squad as a vehicle to defraud the Medicare program," said Heaphy. "A jury found him guilty to fraudulently billing Medicare for unnecessary services, acts for which he was now been justly punished. This office will continue to root out health care fraud, which drives up costs to consumers."

In order to receive Medicare reimbursements for non-emergency ambulance transports, patients must be bed-confined or in such a medical condition that ambulance transport is necessary. However, Louthian was obtaining reimbursement for transporting patients that did not qualify for non-emergency transport. A jury found that Louthian and Monica Hicks, a member of the rescue squad also charged in the scheme, conspired to fraudulently bill Medicare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for non-emergency ambulance services for Medicare eligible patients.

In addition to his sentencing, the court imposed a money judgment against Louthian for $907,521, the full amount of the fraud. The court also forfeited Louthian's assets, including bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, and an ambulance service, in partial satisfaction of the money judgment. The court will determine the interest of other persons in these assets at a later hearing.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Virginia attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. Virginia assistant attorneys general and special assistant United States attorneys Vaso Doubles and Janine Myatt prosecuted the case for the United States.

 
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Virginia State Seal as part of the letterhead for the Attorney General.

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



For media inquiries only, contact:  
Brian J. Gottstein
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (best contact method)

Peter Carr
Public Information Officer
Phone703-842-4050
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Websitewww.usdoj.gov/usao/vae

 

United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia 
United States Attorney Neil H. MacBride

 Joint release from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride...

Owners of Woodbridge home health care business sentenced to 121 months for $2.1 million in health care fraud

-  Billed for in-home personal care and nursing services they did not provide to patients -

ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 22, 2013) - The owners of a Woodbridge-based home health care business were sentenced today to 121 months in prison each, followed by three years of supervised release, for submitting more than $2.1 million in false claims to Virginia Medicaid and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) for reimbursement of in-home personal care and nursing services they did not provide.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; Neil H. MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

Irvine Johnston King, 46, and Aisha Rashidatu King, 40, of Woodbridge, the owners and operators of Bright Beginnings Healthcare Services, were convicted at trial on Jan. 10, 2013, of conspiracy and multiple counts of health care fraud, in addition to two counts of aggravated identity theft. At sentencing today, they were also ordered by the court to pay $931,894 in restitution and to forfeit the same amount.

The business was to provide in-home personal and respite care and private duty nursing services to Medicaid-eligible individuals.  According to court records and evidence at trial, from at least January 2008 through June 2011, the Kings carried out a scheme to defraud the Virginia Medicaid program and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) by submitting inflated claims for services. They submitted $2.1 million in fraudulent claims, of which Virginia Medicaid paid out $766,620 and BCBS paid out $165,273.

In May 2009, after learning that Virginia Medicaid had retained an outside firm to audit Bright Beginnings, the Kings began an effort to cover up the fraud by creating false nursing documentation to support the claims, including timesheets and notes in the names of several nurses who had never worked at Bright Beginnings. They supervised an unlicensed employee who completed timesheets under the name of a licensed nurse and billed the employee's time to Virginia Medicaid as licensed practical nursing services. They also directed the father of a patient to sign blank timesheets, which were then falsified to support fraudulent billing for services that had never been provided to that patient.

The investigation was conducted by FBI's Washington Field Office and the Virginia attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven W. Grist of the Virginia attorney general's office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy D. Belevetz and are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.