Louisiana man pleads guilty to conspiracy to defraud, pay illegal kickbacks

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GULFPORT, Miss. (WJTV) – A Monroe, Louisiana man pleaded guilty on Thursday to engaging in a multi-million dollar conspiracy to pay illegal health care kickbacks and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

According to court documents, Thomas “Tommy” Wilburn Shoemaker, 57, admitted that he participated in a scheme to defraud TRICARE and other health care benefit programs by acting as a marketer for World Health Industries, Inc. (“WHI”), a pharmacy specializing in the production of compounded medications.

Shoemaker admitted that he allowed WHI to use his TRICARE insurance to adjust prescription formulas to ensure the highest reimbursement without regard to efficacy, and he recruited doctors to procure prescriptions for high margin compounded medications. 

Investigators said Shoemaker admitted to obtaining numerous fraudulent prescriptions using personal information of military acquaintances. Through his company, he received over $300,000 in commissions for the prescriptions that were reimbursed by TRICARE, and in total, he received at least $672,538.19 in proceeds that were derived directly from the fraud scheme. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 30, 2021, and faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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