October 3, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
PHARMACIST SENTENCED FOR BILKING
MEDICAID AND VARIOUS INSURERS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Hyacinth Uche,
a pharmacist in Baltimore City, was sentenced by Baltimore City
Circuit Court Judge Thomas J.S. Waxter, Jr. to serve four concurrent
five year sentences, with all but six months suspended after pleading
guilty to charges that he defrauded Maryland's Medicaid program
and a variety of health insurance companies.
57, of the 1400 block of King William Drive in Woodlawn, is the
owner of HISCO Pharmacy, located at 5613 Belair Road in Baltimore.
Uche pleaded guilty to one count of felony Medicaid fraud and three
counts of felony insurance fraud. Uche was charged with stealing
at least $25,000 from Medicaid and private insurers between 2000
and 2002 by systematically billing for medications that were never
requested by nor provided to customers. Pursuant to the plea agreement,
Uche paid restitution of $25,000 prior to his sentencing.
case was referred to the Attorney General by the Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene's Division of Pharmacy and Clinic Services. After
being notified by the Office of the Attorney General of the results
of its investigation, DHMH brought an administrative action against
Uche. That proceeding resulted in a settlement agreement between
the agency and Uche in which the pharmacist agreed to be excluded
from participating in the Maryland Medicaid program for a minimum
of five years.
Office of the Attorney General will continue to work with other
state agencies to aggressively crack down on Medicaid fraud,"
Attorney General Curran said. "Actions like Mr. Uche's result
in higher premiums and fewer Medicaid dollars available for those
who desperately need them."
case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control
Unit with the assistance of the Maryland Insurance Administration's
Insurance Fraud Division.