Vance Air Force Base Major pleads guilty to pharmacy kickbacks
Ponca City Now - October 16, 2019 4:29 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Romeatrius Moss, 39, a nurse and Air Force Major stationed at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, has pleaded guilty to criminal health care fraud in which she accepted kickbacks for referring TRICARE beneficiaries to pharmacies furnishing compounded drugs, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
According to a felony information filed on Sept. 30, 2019, Moss solicited and received $73,823.06 in return for referrals to compounding pharmacies involving individuals covered by TRICARE, which is a health insurance program for members of the U.S. military. Because of resulting cost increases and infringement on patient choice, it is a crime to solicit or receive payments for referrals to health care providers for an item or service that could be paid, in whole or in part, by a federal health care program.
Moss pleaded guilty on Oct. 15 before U.S. District Judge Patrick R. Wyrick. She admitted that while she was employed in the medical unit at Vance AFB, she gave military members pre-printed prescription pads and induced them to ask their doctors for specific compounded drugs.
Moss admitted she then sent the prescriptions or caused them to be sent to specific pharmacies. Moss admitted she was paid a kickback that was a percentage of the gross reimbursement the pharmacies received from TRICARE for filling the prescriptions.
At sentencing, Moss faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, in addition to up to three years of supervised release. As a result of her plea agreement, she will pay restitution to TRICARE in the amount of $622,459, the total amount of kickbacks she received in the referral scheme. She has also agreed to the criminal forfeiture of her residence in Enid, a 2016 Porsche Cayenne, and a 2000 Fleetwood Pace Arrow.
These charges are the result of an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation–Oklahoma City Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Maxfield Green.