Pharmacy Owners and Employees Indicted on Fraud Allegations
Hope Thomley and Randy Thomley of Hattiesburg, Glenn Beach Jr. of Sumrall, and Gregory Parker of Laurel, Mississippi, all associated with the disgraced Advantage Pharmacy, were indicted on charges of defrauding insurers of more than $200 million. Prosecutors have claimed the owners persuaded health care providers to prescribe expensive medications that were often unnecessary. They created certain, homemade formulations in-house and convinced physicians to write prescriptions for them time and again without sufficient need and sometimes without even seeing patients prior to providing them with the medication.
The defendants all face multiple counts of conspiracy, health care fraud, and money laundering, and prosecutors are looking to seize $17 million in cash and the property of those involved, including 16 real estate locations they own and six vehicles.
Hope and Randy Thomley face 24 and 23 felony counts, respectively, including conspiracy, health care fraud, and money laundering. Beach faces 16 counts of the same charges. Parker, a nurse practitioner accused of prescribing medications to patients without examining them and subsequently lying to federal investigators, indicating the patients’ charts were reviewed and they received exams, faces eight counts.
The indictment documents stated, “The defendants and their co-conspirators created pre-printed, check-the-box prescription forms.” Prosecutors said pharmacy owners paid kickbacks of a certain percentage of revenue to prescribers as well as the sales and marketing group they signed up to work it with them. Prosecutors have documented millions of dollars in payments to companies they claim made the kickbacks to the owners.
“The government believes Hope Thomley is a bad and greedy person with millions of dollars in dirty money. It could not possibly be more wrong about her,” wrote her attorney Paul Calli. “Hope is a wife, mother, and grandmother. A former health care executive, Hope is a self-made woman who has worked hard and worked honestly for everything that she has.”
However, the indictment alleged Hope texted Parker back in 2014, “Get me rolling on dietary supplements. I need to make some cash, and I think I can burn through a lot of that stuff!”Both a member of the marketing team and a pharmacist for the company had already been indicted on similar charges and pleaded guilty in court. 40-year-old Jason May was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering. May selected formulas for compound creams based on reimbursement rates as opposed to medical necessity. He then either did not collect patient copays for the medication or paid copays on behalf of beneficiaries.
He received a portion of the reimbursements associated with his concoctions and transferred certain of those proceeds from the fraud into a money market account he opened in his name.
Gerald Jay Schaar, 46, was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud for his role in a marketing scheme in which he solicited medical professionals to write prescriptions without seeing patients for compound topical creams dispensed by May at the pharmacy. He then falsified patient records to make it seem as though medical professionals had examined them. In total, Advantage Pharmacy received $2.3 million in reimbursements due to his misconduct.