On Friday, August 18, 2017, Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announced that a St. Augustine man had pleaded guilty in connection with a fraudulent compound pharmacy scheme. 40-year-old Dino Ajloni now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. According to the plea agreement, the defendant operated the Wellness Pharmacy out of St. Augustine.
Ajloni was responsible for numerous jobs, including marketing prescriptions and recruiting physicians to write and fill prescriptions. To draw in patients, Ajloni relied on marketers. One of the marketers brought his family to the pharmacy so they could become patients. The pharmacy subsequently filled numerous prescriptions for the marketer’s relatives and received approximately $200,000 in government reimbursement.
The marketer received nearly $50,000 for their part in the scheme in violation of the Anti-Kickback statute. Ajloni also recruited patients on his own. On some occasions, he offered the patients access to anything in the store, if they agreed to receive compound prescription drugs. In other cases, he bribed them with gift baskets, which contained chocolate, nuts, deodorants and other items.
TRICARE became suspicious of the pharmacy in 2016. TRICARE noticed that many of the claims were written by a doctor, had never billed for the patient visits. In return, TRICARE asked the Wellness Pharmacy to conduct an audit. While performing the audit, Ajloni and others made various false and misleading statements.
The defendant insisted that all patients paid co-pays and no patients received anything in return. It was also claimed that Wellness Pharmacy contacted doctors before dispensing medication. Due to the scheme, Ajloni received over $1.9 million in healthcare reimbursements that he should not have received. The defendant is now awaiting sentencing.