Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced Wednesday a former pharmaceutical sales representative pleaded guilty to defrauding Tricare, the Department of Defense health care program.
Forty-one-year-old Jason Cerge of Media, Pennsylvania admitted to conspiring with others to defraud Tricare, by submitting bogus claims for unnecessary compounded medications, such as pain and scar cream. Cerge and the conspirators knew pharmacies were reimbursed anywhere between $2,500 and $18,000 for those medications, according to court documents.
The conspirators partnered with several compounding pharmacies throughout the United States to receive a percentage of the reimbursement for each prescription. Forty-five-year-old Peter Pappas of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania recruited Cerge into the scheme.
Cerge placed the patient’s information onto prescription forms and gave them to a New Jersey-based doctor for a signature. The physician would sign the prescriptions without speaking with or examining the patients. The signed prescriptions would then be faxed to a specific compounding pharmacy.
Cerge has agreed to forfeit $12,816.24. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 30, 2018.