For Allegedly Operating a Pill Mill Allegations Include Medicaid Fraud and Theft
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced today that Aloysius Ikuni Okei, 61, of Bowie was charged in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County with Medicaid Fraud, Theft, and 239 counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. Okei, a licensed pharmacist, owned and operated Family Choice Pharmacy, Inc., an independent retail pharmacy located at 8313 Annapolis Road in New Carrollton. It is alleged that beginning in October 2013 and continuing through the present, Okei knowingly filled fraudulent prescriptions and dispensed controlled dangerous substances including oxycodone and alprazolam to customers who presented the fraudulent prescriptions, many of whom were Medicaid recipients. Okei would at times submit claims for payment to Medicaid for filling the fraudulent prescriptions, and would also take cash from the customers, sometimes as much as $450 for filling those prescriptions, even though the cost of the medication was covered by Medicaid.
Reggie Eugene Hall, 48, of Upper Marlboro was charged separately with 50 counts of passing false prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances with the intent to distribute, and is alleged to have presented fraudulent prescriptions in his own name and in the name of others to Okei.
“Abuse of prescription drugs is an epidemic across the country. Pharmacists, of all people, must be keenly aware of the dangers of addiction and death arising from drug abuse,” said Attorney General Frosh. “We have charged Okei with distributing controlled, dangerous prescription drugs and with defrauding the State of thousands of Medicaid dollars.”
Medicaid provides medical insurance coverage for individuals whose incomes are too low to meet the costs of necessary medical services. Felony Medicaid Fraud is punishable by up to five years incarceration and up to a $100,000 fine. Felony Theft is punishable by up to five years incarceration and up to a $10,000 fine. Distribution is punishable by up to five years incarceration and a $15,000 fine if a schedule III or IV, and up to 20 years and a $25,000 fine if a narcotic drug schedule I or II.
A criminal indictment is merely an accusation of wrongdoing and all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent unless and until the State proves the individual guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General’s Office in cooperation with the Prince George’s County Police Department, Major Narcotic Enforcement Division Diversion Squad.