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For Immediate Release
October 3, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

BALTIMORE PHARMACIST SENTENCED FOR BILKING
MEDICAID AND VARIOUS INSURERS

Attorney 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.

Uche, 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.

The 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.

"The 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."

This case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with the assistance of the Maryland Insurance Administration's Insurance Fraud Division.

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