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Man Gets Jail for Bilking Drug Firms

Man Gets Jail For Bilking Drug Firms [The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.]

From Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA) (December 21, 2010)

Dec. 21--SCRANTON -- A federal judge has sentenced Hazleton resident John Roman to 21 months in prison and ordered him to pay $528,964 in restitution as a result of his guilty plea to charges he bilked pharmaceutical companies through his Jim Thorpe shop, Community Pharmacy.

Roman agreed to plead guilty in April to charges he worked with physician Andrew Dancha to obtain prescriptions for fictitious patients from April 2006 to January 2009, pocketing $548,543 in fraudulent reimbursement from three pharmaceutical companies, according to the criminal information filed in the complaint.

The scheme used a legitimate prescription drug voucher program designed to give patients a free sample of some drugs.

Patients could get the "free trial" by printing a coupon from the manufacturer’s website, getting a prescription, and taking both to a pharmacist.

The pharmacist dispenses the drug at no charge and submits a reimbursement claim, getting the average wholesale cost plus a processing fee of a few dollars.

Prosecutors say Roman downloaded the vouchers and submitted reimbursement forms for fictitious patients who were purportedly prescribed the medication by Dancha.

The plea also required Roman to forfeit the property that houses his pharmacy on River Street in the Carbon County municipality, and to forfeit his Chevrolet Corvette, which prosecutors said he obtained through the money gained by the fraud. He is to report to prison by 2 p.m. Jan. 24. He must also serve three years probation after prison.

Dancha has also been charged in the case.

Mark Guydish, a Times Leader staff writer, can be reached at 829-7161

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Posted: December 2010