Eight in North Texas indicted for health care fraud

Eight people in North Texas have been indicted for making false and fraudulent health care claims.

The government said eight people, including three doctors, filed fraudulent claims totaling $158 million to defraud the federal workers comp program. Officials allege they made their own medicines through local pharmacies to sell, including a $28,000 pain cream.

“The government has caught on to these compounding pharmacies and the ability to make large amount of money large amounts of money from compounding drugs,” said attorney Nicole Knox.

The indictment says postal workers hurt on the job were prescribed a compounding cream costing up to $28,000 per container between May 2014 and March 2017.

Three doctors wrote nearly 18,000 prescriptions to postal employees from North Texas for the pain cream.

“So either they knew that what they were doing was fraudulent activity and they were willing to risk their license for that or maybe they were just trying to do good,” Knox said.

U.S. Attorney John Parker said in an email statement, "This is yet another shocking example of how unmitigated greed can spawn a fraud so brazen that it almost takes your breath away,"

The government also alleged money laundering to hide the scheme. The feds moved to seize cash and all property purchased with money from the compounding cream prescriptions.

“It’s a real problem because it depletes the funds that the government has to pay otherwise legitimate claims of other federal workers,” Knox said.

While an indictment is only an allegation and does not mean guilt, the government has already seized $50 million.