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NHCAA Presents 2007 Fraud 'Investigation of the Year' Award to U.S. Departments of Justice, HHS, and Treasury for Convicting Internet Pharmacy 'Drug Kingpin'
Date:12/6/2007

technical skills prior to his online pharmacy venture, he sent 1.3 billion spam e-mails in a 6-month period using stolen AOL e-mail accounts. It was this ability that led to the establishment of an online pharmacy, marketing prescription drugs through 17 Web sites, millions of e-mails, and call centers employing over 100 telemarketers. Smith attempted to hide his association with the Web sites by registering the domain names using aliases with false addresses in the United Kingdom and United States. The services of one doctor, who never saw or spoke with any of the "patients," were obtained and, in a 14-month period, 72,000 prescriptions were approved and more than 4 million doses of hydrocodone-based controlled substances were dispensed, resulting in gross sales of $24 million.

Smith used his Internet pharmacy to fund an interest in automobiles. The government seized 17 of Smith's cars -- including seven convertibles, four stretch limousines, a Maybach 62, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, and two Hummers. All the cars were sold at auction in 2006 and netted taxpayers $1.6 million.

"NHCAA is proud to present the U.S. Departments of Justice, HHS, and Treasury with the 2007 Investigation of the Year award," said NHCAA Executive Director Louis Saccoccio. "While the scope and complexity of Smith's criminal activities is nothing short of astounding, it is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the federal agencies that they were able to bring down his Internet pharmacy empire. This conviction demonstrates that the law enforcement agencies are rising to the challenge of increasingly sophisticated health-care fraud activities and stopping health-care fraud dead in its tracks."

NHCAA's Investigation of the Year is being presented to four separate offices, including:

-- U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney's Office, District

of Minnesota;

-- U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Invest
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SOURCE The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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