A physician who purchased Botox® from an unlicensed foreign wholesaler faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges.
The doctor received faxes from a foreign drug wholesaler that offered low prices for prescription drugs, including “Botox (Turkish)” for $354.99 a vial. At the time, the FDA-approved version of Botox® was sold through licensed drug wholesalers in the United States for about $525 a vial.
According to the government, the physician made at least 50 separate purchases of the counterfeit drugs from the foreign wholesaler, which he provided patients without informing them of the source.
When special agents investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) questioned the physician, he told the agents he had only made three purchases from the unlicensed foreign wholesaler.
This was a big mistake. Making a false statement to a federal agent is a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000. It also results in immediate exclusion from Medicaid, Medicare and other government programs.
While it may have been difficult to for the government prove that the physician knew that the drugs were counterfeit or had actually used them to treat patients, the number of purchases could easily be proved with the physician’s own bank and credit card records.
If government agents ask to speak with you, remember this. You have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel. Do not give up those rights. Tell the agents politely that you want to speak with your lawyer.
Then call an experienced Medicare and Medicaid fraud defense attorney immediately. To arrange a free initial consultation, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728.
John Howley, Esq.
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