DC Federal Prescription Fraud Cases
Recently, prescription fraud has been on the rise. With the relative ease of access in regards to prescription drugs, people are finding new ways to illegally utilize the market for both their personal and monetary gain. These cases can induce many complications on the back of the accused, and can involve lengthy, complicated trials. It is for this reason that any individual involved in a DC federal prescription fraud case hire an experienced attorney immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to craft a strong defense, that can help effectively fight your DC federal prescription fraud case in court.
Defining Prescription Fraud
There are a number of different ways in which an individual can be charged with federal prescription fraud in DC. For example, there are laws regarding physician shopping, meaning looking for a person who may be a distributor of legal narcotics but who lacks the proper license. These are narcotics for which a prescription is required. On the street, there will often be situations where people are selling Tylenol with Codeine, Oxycodone, OxyContin, or Percocet. These types of drugs, which are similar to heroin or have an opiate base, can often be purchased on the street without a prescription.
In other cases, there can be an allegation against a doctor for over-prescribing opioids. It could involve a pharmacy that falsifies prescriptions or someone altering documents related to prescriptions to defraud a government healthcare program like Medicaid or Medicare or defraud an insurance company into making payments. Prescription fraud can also include an allegation that a person stole a prescription pad or obtained prescription medication through fraudulent means.
It is illegal to possess, to purchase, or to distribute these narcotics without the proper licensing and prescriptions, therefore a person may find that they are in a situation where they may be charged for that type of conduct. Additionally, an individual can have situations where counterfeit drugs, that are not approved and have not been manufactured for the medicinal purposes under which they are presented, are sold to pharmacies and/or to drug wholesalers. Those persons could also be charged with various types of DC federal prescription fraud.
Any discretion that a prosecutor or law enforcement agency might have in deciding whether to prosecute an individual for DC federal fraud depends on the jurisdiction where the fraud takes place. Some jurisdictions prosecute someone for one false prescription. There are some jurisdictions that require a threshold of a specific number of pills or a certain dollar amount to take the case to the federal level.
Frequency of Fraud Charges
Since the Affordable Care Act was crafted in 2009, there has been increased scrutiny on health care practices in an effort to squeeze out waste fraud and abuse, because of the increased costs incurred not only to the government, but to health care companies, hospitals, and doctors. As a result of that, DC federal prescription fraud cases are becoming more common, and judges are handing out severe sentences.
Additionally, there has been a recent uptick in the number of federal healthcare fraud cases as the methods of investigation expanded into the use of undercover operations, wiretaps, and confidential informants. The Internet makes it easier and more far-reaching for people to attempt healthcare fraud. It also makes healthcare fraud more detectable. With prescription fraud, the advent of electronic signatures makes it easier for someone to take a doctor’s prescription pad with one signed prescription on it and duplicate that signature. It looks real because it is an electronic copy of a real signature and that becomes problematic.
Prosecuting Healthcare Fraud Cases
The government is very serious about bringing those who use fraud money for illegitimate reasons to justice. Healthcare fraud cases are prosecuted intensely and there is usually a lot of money involved. Healthcare fraud also involves the integrity of the healthcare system and the prosecutors, which implicates the case even further. When the allegation is a wide-ranging conspiracy that involves many people, it is taken even more seriously. If you have found yourself facing a DC federal prescription fraud charge, it is pertinent that you contact an experienced attorney immediately.