Last week, it was announced that a former employee of the Internal Revenue Service had been sentenced to prison on a health care fraud charge related to misuse of government health insurance benefits. 69-year-old Ronald Lewis Hooper of Lynchburg was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. The defendant has also been ordered to pay $549,607 in restitution. Hooper previously pleaded guilty to a single count of health care fraud.

Evidence presented during a previous hearing showed that Hooper misused his government health benefits to seek opiate drugs, including Phenergan, Nubian and others at emergency departments. The United States would have proven that the defendant had been seeking these drugs only after his primary physician began restricting the number of injections he provided to Hooper to two a week.

In return, Hooper sought more injections at hospital facilities throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia. Between December of 2002 and December of 2012, Hooper received services at hospitals and emergency rooms on at least 1,700 separate occasions. He sought injections of Nubian and Phenergan. His activities led to a loss of $824,000 in fraudulent medical payments. Additional details can be found here.

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