Former Owners of Telemarketing Company Agree to Pay At Least $4 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations
WASHINGTON (STL.News) Two Florida men have agreed collectively to pay at least $4 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by engaging in schemes to generate prescriptions for compounded drugs and refer those prescriptions to pharmacies in exchange for illegal kickbacks. Many of those prescriptions were billed to TRICARE, the federal health care program providing insurance for active duty military personnel, military retirees, and military dependents.
Jack Lee Stapleton, of Gulf Stream, Florida, and Jack Hunter Stapleton, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formerly owned a marketing business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which operated under various names, including CV McDowell LLC, and J&J Tel Marketing LLC (the Stapleton Entities). The United States alleged that the Stapleton Entities, under the Stapletons’ direction, used telemarketing to solicit prospective patients to accept compounded drugs regardless of patient need, procured prescriptions for those patients, and then sent those prescriptions to compounding pharmacies that agreed to pay the Stapleton Entities half of the amount TRICARE reimbursed for each prescription. The Stapletons and Stapleton Entities worked with pharmacies to identify compounded drug formulas that maximized the level of reimbursement for the drugs, regardless of the medical need for the chosen formula.