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At least 15 Department of Veterans Affairs employees and vendors in Florida were engaged in an "elaborate" fraud scheme that cost the government "millions" since 2009, two government agencies announced in a joint press conference Wednesday.
A Grand Junction, Colorado weapons manufacturer will pay more than $1 million to the U.S. Army for selling the service defective grenade launchers with parts that the company knew were not up to standard.
Navy aircraft were sidelined as they awaited parts last year that the service actually had in a warehouse. The problem? They didn't even know the warehouse was there.
"Not only did we not know that the parts existed, we didn't even know the warehouse existed," Thomas Modly, the Navy's No. 2 civilian said at last week's annual Military Reporters and Editors conference.
The issue was discovered in last year's Navy- and Marine Corps-wide audit, which Modly said has helped the sea services correct some serious problems tracking inventory it owns.
Editor's note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
For those who saw a loophole, it was easy money.
In 2013, a handful of pharmacy companies that make compounded medications — personalized dosages or formulas normally crafted for patients who can't tolerate certain ingredients — discovered they could make treatments such as pain and scar creams, wound ointments and erectile dysfunction drugs, and market them to patients enrolled in Tricare.
Then, they could bill the government a hefty sum, between $400 and $10,000 per prescription, making enough to cover the cost of beneficiaries' co-payments, provide kickbacks to participating physicians and middlemen, and generously pad their own pockets.
When the Defense Health Agency's losses caused by these specious prescriptions topped nearly $1.5 billion in the first half of 2015, the Pentagon moved to restrict its coverage of all compounded medications.
And the Justice Department began pursuing the unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, marketers and salesmen involved, including military troops who saw the largest case of medical fraud in the Pentagon's history as a chance to make cash on the side.
Ex-pharmacist gets 2 years, $7 million bill for role in scheme to bilk Tricare out of more than $100 million
A former pharmacist from Irving has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in a health-care kickback scheme that scammed the military's insurance program out of more than $100 million, court records show.
Ravi Morisetty, 44, is one of 13 defendants, including doctors and marketers, in the Trilogy Pharmacy case, and he is the first to be sentenced. He pleaded guilty last year to his role in the fraud.
The pharmacy's two owners, Jeffrey Fuller and Andrew Baumiller, also have pleaded guilty in the case and are awaiting sentencing.