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For Immediate Release
October 29, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

FORMER PHARMACIST SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS
IN JAIL FOR FRAUD SCHEME

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Richard G. Halpern was sentenced on his August 21, 2002 guilty plea to one count of felony insurance fraud and one count of felony theft in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Halpern, 57, formerly a pharmacist and owner of Irvin's Pharmacy in Lansdowne, was sentenced by Judge Dana M. Levitz to seven years of incarceration, all but six months suspended in favor of five years probation. Halpern was also ordered to pay restitution to several different insurance companies in the amount of $309,589.

In a statement of facts presented by the prosecutor at the time of the guilty plea, the court learned that from January of 1994 through October of 1996, Halpern billed various insurance companies for pharmaceutical products that he never actually dispensed. Halpern actually received over $309,000 in illegitimate insurance reimbursements. Following a
joint investigation conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Halpern was charged and convicted with providing false documentation to and stealing over $309,000 from various insurance companies.

"We will continue to prosecute insurance fraud in an effort to enforce the law and to keep costly insurance premiums from rising due to such crimes," Attorney General Curran said.

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