A Baker woman who led a multiyear scheme to repackage and redistribute unused prescription drugs, some of them expired, was ordered Tuesday to spend three years in federal prison and pay more than $2.2 million in restitution.
U.S. District Judge James Brady also said Mona Patrice Carter, 48, must forfeit to the federal government any property tied to the Medicare fraud scheme that spanned from 2007 to 2013.
Carter pleaded guilty last April to one count of health care fraud.
She owned and operated a “closed-door” pharmacy in Baton Rouge called Community Pharmacy 1, meaning it focused on providing prescription drugs through other health care providers — such as nursing homes and mental health facilities — rather than directly to individual consumers, according to her plea agreement.
Carter paid cash to employees of Community Pharmacy 1 clients who collected and returned unused medications to her, the agreement says. The cash payments were in increments of $100 to $300.
Community Pharmacy 1 workers, acting under Carter’s direction and supervision, placed the unused medications in new blister packs and put new labels on them.
“CP1 then distributed these repackaged medications to CP1 providers, and billed Medicare as if these reused drugs were distributed for the first time, effectively billing Medicare twice for the same drugs,” the plea agreement states.
Carter’s attorney, Jim Boren, said previously that her criminal conduct was “very out of character for her.”
Carter is now excluded from doing business with Medicare, Medicaid and all federal health care programs.