GA pharmacists charged in fraud, diversion investigations

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Georgia pharmacist and a pharmacy owner were charged in federal investigations involving fraud and diversion of drugs to non-patients.

Ray Ashley Dixon, 41, of Baxley is charged with Conspiracy with Objects of Healthcare Fraud and Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances.

According to a statement by Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Dixon owned and operated Fulghum Discount Drugs in Baxley. An investigation found that starting as early as January 2015 and continuing until at least October 2018, Dixon created fake prescriptions, prescribing drugs to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and billed those programs for the drugs. He also gave controlled substances to people without a prescription from a physician.

Janice Colter, pharmacist-in-charge of a pharmacy in Darien was also charged. Colter is accused of giving false statements in response to a review of her dispensing history from 2015 to 2017.

“Healthcare professionals, such pharmacists who commit fraudulent crimes, sometimes prey on patients who are addicted to prescription opioids,” Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said. “Some of these licensed practitioners dispense addictive substances under the guise of a ‘professional practice,’ when in actuality, they act like a common drug dealer. This successful investigation was a direct result of the collaboration between all law enforcement agencies involved and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

If convicted, both pharmacists face up to five years in federal prison with no parole.

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