BOLTON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Bolton pharmacist was sentenced to five years in prison in the Southern District of Mississippi for a $180 million fraud scheme.

David “Jason” Rutland, 42, was convicted for trying to defraud TRICARE and private insurance companies by paying kickbacks to distributors for the referral of medically unnecessary prescriptions.

Prosecutors said Rutland, a co-owner of compounding pharmacies, adjusted prescription formulas to ensure the highest reimbursement without regard to efficacy. He solicited recruiters to procure prescriptions for high-margin compounded medications and paid those recruiters commissions based on the percentage of reimbursements paid by pharmacy benefit managers and health care benefit programs, including commissions on claims reimbursed by TRICARE.

According to prosecutors, Rutland routinely and systematically waived and/or reduced copayments to be paid by beneficiaries and members, including utilizing a purported copayment assistance program to falsely make it appear as if his pharmacy and its affiliate compounding pharmacies had been collecting copayments, among other things.

He pled guilty on July 20, 2021, to conspiracy to defraud the United States and solicit, receive, offer and pay illegal kickbacks. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Rutland was ordered to pay restitution and forfeit all assets traced to his ill-gotten gains.