This week, it was announced that 42-year-old Nermin Awad El-Hadik had been sentenced to five years in federal prison for paying kickbacks in a health care fraud scheme. The defendant was the owner of Hope Pharmacy Inc. in Houston, Texas. United States District Judge Sam Sparks has also ordered El-Hadik to pay $5,334,303.04 in restitution. She will also be placed on supervised released for three years after completing the prison sentence.
The Houston resident pleaded guilty to a single count of willful offer and payment of illegal remuneration in relation to a federal health care program on November 9, 2016. The defendant admitted to paying kickbacks to Garry Wayne Craighead from March of 2015 to December of 2015. Craighead was a chiropractor who organized and controlled several health care related entities. He controlled eight clinics in Texas.
Those clinics derived substantial revenue from DOL health care benefit programs. The defendant paid Craighead cash for patient referrals of federally-insured employees needing prescription services. Craighead was also paid to encourage physicians to prescribe compounded medications to patients. Those medications would then be furnished at Hope Pharmacy.
Craighead pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation and receipt of illegal remunerations in federal health care programs and a single count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity on December 4, 2015. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison on June 10, 2016.
Further details have been made available here.