National Enforcement Action Results in 193 Individuals Charged, Including 2 in West Virginia, for Over $2.75 Billion in False Claims and Controlled Substance Abuse Schemes (2024)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Will Thompson announced criminal charges today against a Logan County physician and a Kentucky registered nurse in connection with separate alleged controlled substance abuse schemes. The charges filed in federal court are part of the Justice Department’s 2024 National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action.

“It does not matter if you are a trafficker in a drug cartel or a corporate executive or medical professional employed by a health care company, if you profit from the unlawful distribution of controlled substances, you will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will bring to justice criminals who defraud Americans, steal from taxpayer-funded programs, and put people in danger for the sake of profits.”

“The indictments handed up in the Southern District of West Virginia allege that the defendants betrayed their duties as health care providers for personal gain,” Thompson said. “The nationwide enforcement action announced today shows the commitment of the U.S. Department of Justice and this office to safeguard patients and the health care system from abuse and fraud.”

The charges announced today by Thompson are part of a strategically coordinated, two-week nationwide law enforcement action that resulted in criminal charges against 193 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud and controlled substance abuse schemes that resulted in the submission of over $2.75 billion in alleged false billings. The defendants allegedly defrauded programs entrusted for the care of the elderly and disabled to line their own pockets, and the Government, in connection with the enforcement action, seized over $231 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold, and other assets.

The Health Care Fraud Unit’s National Rapid Response, Florida, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles, Midwest, Northeast, and Texas Strike Forces; U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of California, District of Connecticut, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Kentucky, Western District to Kentucky, Eastern District of Louisiana, Middle District of Louisiana, Western District of Louisiana, Eastern District of Michigan, Western District of Michigan, Southern District of Mississippi, District of Montana, District of New Jersey, Eastern District of New York, Eastern District of North Carolina, Western District of Oklahoma, District of Rhode Island, Eastern District of Tennessee, Middle District of Tennessee, Eastern District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, Southern District of West Virginia, and Eastern District of Wisconsin; and State Attorney Generals’ Offices for Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and South Dakota are prosecuting the cases in the National Enforcement Action, with assistance from the Health Care Fraud Unit’s Data Analytics Team.

Descriptions of each case involved in today’s enforcement action are available on the Department’s website.

The Southern District of West Virginia, in particular, worked with the Department’s Criminal Division and the following law enforcement organizations to investigate and prosecute the cases filed during the enforcement period: the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI).

The following individuals have been charged in the Southern District of West Virginia:

  • Brian McDevitt, D.O., 60, of Chapmanville, was charged by indictment with three counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance in connection with prescribing clonazepam outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. As alleged in the indictment, McDevitt, a sole practitioner operating the Chapmanville Medical Clinic, knowingly issued clonazepam prescriptions on three separate dates that were outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Owen Reynolds and Francesca Rollo.
  • Jacqueline Brewster, 54, of Belfry, Kentucky, was charged by indictment with one count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, one count of tampering with consumer products, and one count of wrongfully obtaining individually identifiable health information under false pretenses and with intent to use for personal gain in connection with the theft of, and tampering with, vials of hydromorphone at a hospital in Raleigh County, West Virginia. As alleged in the indictment, Brewster, a travel nurse, used her credentials to access hydromorphone for her own personal use. Brewster tampered with the hydromorphone vials by diluting the remaining liquid in the bottles to make it appear as though they were full. As part of this scheme, Brewster accessed patient files for patients not assigned to her. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Owen Reynolds.

A complaint, information, or indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found onPACERby searching for Case Nos. 2:24-cr-96 McDevitt) and 5:24-cr-104 (Brewster).

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National Enforcement Action Results in 193 Individuals Charged, Including 2 in West Virginia, for Over $2.75 Billion in False Claims and Controlled Substance Abuse Schemes (2024)
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