Two Georgia Pharmacists Charged in Fraud, Diversion Investigations

by Andrew Murray | July 25th, 2019

On July 15, 2019, the Department of Justice announced that separate investigations have prompted charges against the pharmacists in Georgia’s Southern District. The Press Release states:

Two Georgia pharmacists have been charged after separate federal investigations involving fraud and diversion of drugs to non-patients.

Ray Ashley Dixon, 41, of Baxley, Ga., is charged with Conspiracy with Objects of Healthcare Fraud and Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances, and Janice Colter, 62, of Darien, Ga., is charged with False Statements Related to Healthcare, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Both defendants are charged via criminal informations. If convicted, each face up to five years in federal prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

According to court documents, Dixon owned and operated Fulghum Discount Drugs in Baxley, Ga. An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) uncovered that, beginning as early as January 2015 and continuing until at least October 2018, Dixon created fake prescriptions purportedly prescribing drugs to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and billed those programs for the drugs.  In addition, Dixon distributed controlled substances to individuals without a prescription from a physician.

Also charged is Colter, who was pharmacist-in-charge of a pharmacy in Darien, Ga. From 2015 through 2017, Colter filled a large number of prescriptions for controlled substances from high-volume prescribers.  In response to a review of her dispensing history, which included a focus on select high-prescribing physicians, Colter drafted documents that contained false and fraudulent statements, which the Drug Enforcement Administration would review as part of any regulatory compliance audit.

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