Ocean Springs Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Conspiring to Commit Health Care Fraud
Hattiesburg, MI (STL.News) Dempsey “Bryan” Levi, 51, and Jeffrey Wayne Rollins, 44, of Ocean Springs, were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett for their role in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE, the health care benefit program serving U.S. military, veterans, and their family members, as well as private health care benefit programs, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.
Both Levi and Rollins were sentenced to serve 84 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and pay $16,333,583 in restitution to Medicare, Tricare and Express Scripts. Additionally, the government received a forfeiture of $924,114.40.
Rollins and Levi previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. At their guilty plea hearings, the defendants admitted to operating The Gardens Pharmacy, LLC, an open-door retail pharmacy that specialized in the production of compound medications, and in their positions, they solicited recruiters to obtain prescriptions for high-adjudicating compounded medications that were often ordered with numerous refills. The recruiters were paid a percentage of the reimbursements that health care benefit programs paid to the pharmacy, including for Medicare and TRICARE beneficiaries, even though it is unlawful to pay commissions to distributors on referrals to federal programs. Rollins and Levi assisted in formulating compound medications that were targeted to maximize reimbursements, irrespective of medical necessity. They also admitted to soliciting and incentivizing doctors to authorize prescriptions for the high-adjudicating compounded medications.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn R. Van Buskirk, and Trial Attorneys Dustin Davis and Sara Porter from the DOJ Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.