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November 25, 2020 09:00pm
By Sara Karlovitch, Assistant Editor
Eighteen people have been charged in 13 indictments.
An elaborate health care fraud and prescription drug distribution scheme has led to the indictment of 18 individuals, according to a press release by theDepartment of Justice.
These separate, but related, indictments, allege the defendants obtained prescription painkillers paid by government-funded health care programs and sold them in exchange for cash. The buyers then redistributed the pills to addicts, said acting US Attorney Soo C. Song in the release.
The grand jury returned an 11-count superseding indictment charging 6 individuals: Mark Coleman, Jeremiah Davidson, Kavon Dawkins, Tevina Harris, Nicole Miller, and William Richardson.
These 6 allegedly conspired to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone from August 2014 to June 2016, according to the release. Davidson is charged with conspiracy to defraud UPMC Health Plan by selling prescription drugs, while Harris and Richardson are charged with possession with intent to distribute oxymorphone, and with possession with intent to distribute oxycodone in August 2014.
Richardson is also being charged with conspiracy to defraud health care benefit programs in 2016, the release stated, by obtaining false pretenses and prescription drugs prescribed for others and paid for by their health care plans.
He is also charged with defrauding UPMC Health Plan, Envision Rx Plus, and Gateway Health, by obtaining prescription drugs himself and selling them, as well as paying for other people’s prescription medications issued in their names and selling their medications, the press release reported.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that on August 15, 2014, Richardson was in possession of 6 firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and that 5 of the firearms were illegally possessed. Richardson is a convicted felon who has 11 prior convictions punishable by more than a year in prison.
Indictment for this large-scale scheme also included: