Eleven other suspects have been arrested in the scheme as a result of the investigation conducted by the
"Exhaustive investigative work by
The other suspects arrested from
The scheme was allegedly created and operated by
The alleged scheme, which operated between
The men claimed that the study was "a TRICARE-approved 'Patient Safety Initiative' or 'PSI Study' to evaluate the safety and efficacy of compounded drugs," according to court documents.
CMGRX was owned by Cesario and Cooper.
Cesario and Cooper hired co-defendants Straw, Kiselak and Rios to recruit military members and their families to obtain compounded drugs with their TRICARE prescription benefits. The TRICARE beneficiaries were then paid in exchange for obtaining the prescriptions.
Rios allegedly recruited hundreds of beneficiaries from
The prescriptions were mostly for compounded pain creams, scar creams, migraine creams and vitamins, court documents state.
The men then allegedly hid the payments to the beneficiaries from TRICARE by claiming that they were "grants" given to the patients as part of the PSI Study.
According to court documents, the PSI Study was not overseen by any medical professions, had no control group and no one was gathering data for the study.
Cesario and Cooper then allegedly created the Freedom From
The charity was paid about
Simmons allegedly served as the chief medical officer for CMGRX and helped create the fake study, records say.
Elder-Quintana, who has hospital privileges at several medical centers in
Court documents state that Elder-Quintana "wrote thousands of prescriptions for compounded drugs to TRICARE beneficiaries who he never met in person and for whom he conducted only a cursory consultation via telephone."
The payments, which were made through the charity, in exchange for the prescriptions were either paid directly to Elder-Quintana or to his company,
The conspiracy also involved several pharmacy owners, including Fuller, Baumiller, Cockerell, Kuper, and Morisetty, records state.
The pharmacy owners then allegedly paid kickbacks to Cesario, Cooper, Straw, Rios, Kiselak and other CMGRX employees in exchange for them sending the prescriptions to their pharmacies, documents state.
According to court documents, Cooper and Cesario allegedly threatened the people involved in the scheme in order to prevent them for reporting it to law enforcement.
"The evidence shows that witnesses told investigators that (Cooper) and his co-defendant
All of the suspects were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, among other federal charges tied to health care fraud.
"The indictments and arrests in this investigation highlight another step forward by DCIS and its law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of the
Federal prosecutors also are seeking the forfeiture of more than 11 properties, 32 vehicles, eight boats and recreational vehicles, and 58 bank and investment accounts, along with cash, firearms, jewelry and other property from the defendants.
Although he was arrested in
Elder-Quintana was disciplined by the
Elder-Quintana entered into an "Agreed Order" with the board.
The disciplinary actions included Elder-Quintana being publicly reprimanded, ordered to pass the Medical Jurisprudence Exam and complete at least four hours of continuing medical education within one year, records show. He also was ordered to pay an administrative penalty of
Elder-Quintana had a bond of
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