Janesville pharmacist arrested, faces federal fraud charges

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Gazette staff
Friday, August 5, 2016

JANESVILLE—A Janesville pharmacist appeared in federal court Friday to face a 46-count indictment accusing him of receiving $1 million from the federal government through a scheme to defraud Medicaid and Medicare.

Mark Johnson, 55, Janesville, was arrested without incident Friday morning in Janesville by agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with help from the Janesville Police Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Madison.

Johnson made an initial appearance Friday before Magistrate Stephen Crocker, who set Johnson's arraignment for Tuesday, Aug. 30, and released him on standard conditions.

Stephen Meyer, who represented Johnson at Friday's court appearance said,  "I can assume he intends the fight these allegations."

Johnson is a licensed pharmacist and owner and president of Kealey Pharmacy and Home Care, 21 S. Jackson St., Janesville.

A grand jury issued a 46-count indictment Wednesday in Madison. The indictment charges Johnson with health care fraud, making false statements in a health care fraud audit and identity theft, according to the release.

Each of the 39 health care fraud charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false statements charges have a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, and each of the six identity theft charges carries a mandatory two-year federal prison penalty, according to the release.

The indictment alleges Johnson:

-- Devised a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid from January 2008 to March 2014.

-- Submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid to obtain reimbursement for medication that was not provided to beneficiaries.

-- Created false prescription orders and submitted them for reimbursement, causing the payment of approximately $1 million by Medicare and Medicaid to him. 

-- Lied in August 2013 in his responses to an audit by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services of paid Medicaid claims for January 2010 through December 2011.

-- Used the federal Drug Enforcement Administration numbers and national provider identifiers of two physicians to create fictitious physician prescription orders to support the submission of false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. 

The pharmacy was open for business Friday. Kevin Trampe said he was asked to fill in for Johnson at the pharmacy Friday morning. He couldn't reveal who had asked him to fill in or why but was under the impression Johnson's absence was temporary, he said.

Trampe wasn't aware Johnson had been arrested when The Gazette called the business. He couldn't say what was next for the pharmacy.

Federal agents raided the pharmacy March 28, 2014, as part of a joint investigation involving the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. The office fights “waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and more than 300 other HHS programs,” according to its website.

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