Wednesday, 05 March 2014 04:28

United States v. Ronald Kielar: Pharmacist Steals Customers' Identity

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Ronald Kielar, a pharmacist in Chicago, Illinois, received a sentence of seven years in federal prison after his conviction for obtaining over $1.7 million through false insurance claims for a drug he never dispensed to any customers and for stealing the identities of pharmacy patrons to use in the fraudulent claims. He also created false documents designed to support his fraudulent insurance claims.

 According to court documents, Kielar, 76, was a pharmacist at the Cartagena Pharmacy, which was owned by his ex-wife. He was charged with six counts of health care fraud, one count of obstruction of justice, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Kielar was found guilty on all counts.

Kielar used the personal insurance information of patients, including names and birth dates, to submit bills for Procrit, a drug that stimulates production of red blood cells. The patients had never been prescribed this drug, however, Kielar never gave them the medication, and they did not authorize the use of their insurance data for the submission of claims for payment. Kielar also forged prescriptions, patient receipts, and created fake invoices after his indictment for the crimes in order to make the insurance claims he submitted appear legitimate. Kielar submitted over 600 false claims between 2004 and 2010 and receive over $1. 7 million from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the United Food and commercial Workers Unions, and the Employers Midwest Health Benefit Fund.

According to U.S. Attorney Heather McShain, every time Kielar hit the "submit" button on the pharmacy computer to send a claim for Procrit, he was making a decision to lie to the insurance company that received, processed and paid the claim. She also said that Kielar's fraud involved betraying a doctor who had been his friend for 40 years by using his name and DEA registration number without permission.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Kielar used his fraudulent gains to pay salaries to himself and his ex-wife. He then used that money to pay mortgages on his Illinois home and on properties in Arizona and Florida.

Resources

U.S. v. Ronald Kielar, Press Release, United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

 

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