Nashville, Tennessee – A federal grand jury in Nashville, Tennessee, returned a 12-count indictment on June 13, 2018, charging five individuals with various offenses, including wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, relating to a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain and distribute oxycodone, in the middle Tennessee area, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran, for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The indictment charges the following individuals with conspiring to fraudulently use a DEA registration number issued to another person to obtain oxycodone between January 2017 and September 2017:
Simbarashe Kanjanda, aka Simba, 37, of Hermitage, Tennessee;
William Afari, 24, of Antioch, Tennessee;
Robert Pride, Jr., 31, of Nashville, Tennessee;
AbdulNasar Nour, 24, of Antioch, Tennessee; and
Kudakawashe Mandishona, aka Kuda, 23, of Antioch, Tennessee.
According to the indictment, the five individuals were part of a conspiracy to steal the DEA registration numbers of area physicians, as well as the personal identifying information of patients, from medical and dental clinics in the middle Tennessee area. The indictment alleges the DEA registration numbers were then used to create fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone in the names of patients whose identities had been stolen. The fraudulent prescriptions were then presented to area pharmacies by co-conspirators, who obtained the oxycodone and then conspired to possess and distribute the oxycodone in middle Tennessee.
The indictment also alleges that the defendants sent text messages to other co-conspirators to facilitate and request fraudulent prescriptions.
If convicted of the drug conspiracy, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The defendants face up an additional mandatory consecutive sentence of at least 2 years in prison for the aggravated identity theft offenses.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Tennessee Office of Inspector General; and the Smyrna Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmed A. Safeeullah.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This enforcement action is part of a nationwide health care fraud initiative of the Department of Justice being announced today by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Thursday, June 28, 2018