Federal Jury Sentences Pharmacy Owner of Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, and Misrepresentation for Role in Multi-Million Dollar Telemedicine Pharmacy Fraud Program | USAO-EDTN


GREENEVILLE, Tennessee. Following a month-long trial, a federal jury found Peter Bolos, 44, of Tampa, Fla., Guilty of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, on 22 counts of charge of mail fraud and drug labeling offense. Bolos’ sentencing was set for May 19, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. before the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Bolos, Andrew Assad, Michael Palso, Maikel Bolos, Larry Smith, Scott Roix, HealthRight LLC, Mihir Taneja, Arun Kapoor and Sterling Knight Pharmaceuticals, as well as various other companies owned by them, have conspired to defraud pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) such as Express Scripts and CVS Caremark with millions of dollars. PBMs pay pharmacies for prescription claims on behalf of public insurance programs, such as Medicare and Tricare, as well as private insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.

Court documents and evidence at trial further proved that Bolos, Assad and Palso – who owned the Synergy Pharmacy in Palm Harbor, Fla. – had purchased prescriptions from Scott Roix for $ 500 apiece. Bolos and Roix disguised the purchases of these prescriptions with bogus marketing agreements. To obtain these prescriptions, Roix used HealthRight’s telemedicine platform to entice patients to provide HealthRight with their insurance information. Roix then tricked doctors into issuing prescriptions through HealthRight’s telemedicine platform by falsely telling doctors that patients had requested the drugs. In fact, the drugs were selected by Bolos because they were very cost effective.

During the plot, which lasted from May 26, 2015 to April 1, 2018, Bolos paid Roix over $ 30,000,000 to purchase no less than 60,000 prescriptions. Almost all of these prescriptions were issued through HealthRight’s telemedicine platform. The doctors who issued the prescriptions did not know, never met, and never spoke to the patients.

According to court documents, Roix, Assad, Palso, Smith, Maikel Bolos and various associated business entities have already pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy. Taneja, Kapoor and Sterling Knight have pleaded guilty to a trademark error in a conspiracy with Bolos. Sentences for all defendants will be set for dates in 2022.

The lawsuit and plea agreements resulted from a multi-year investigation conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services (Nashville); Food and Drug Administration Bureau of Criminal Investigations (Nashville); US Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General (Buffalo, New York); Federal Bureau of Investigation (Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee); Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General (Atlanta); and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (Tampa). The US Marshals Service was also involved in the investigation and confiscation of assets.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys TJ Harker and Mac Heavener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee and Attorney David Gunn of the Consumer Protection Branch in Washington prosecuted and tried the case.

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