A doctor and two pharmacists in Fort Wayne have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they improperly distributed controlled substances and conspired to commit health-care fraud.
Dr. James E. Ranochak and pharmacists Brent A. Losier and Charles H. Ringger were indicted as part of a multistate investigation by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force.
The indictments describe all three as being affiliated with North Anthony Pharmacy and Wellness Center, 3537 N. Anthony Blvd. Ranochak is a physician who has an office at the pharmacy. Losier, a pharmacist, also owns and operates the pharmacy. Ringger is a pharmacist who works at the North Anthony Pharmacy.
Ranochak, Losier and Ringger all are charged with one count of conspiracy to illegally dispense and distribute controlled substances, one count of conspiracy to commit health-care fraud and seven counts of distributing a controlled substance. Losier and Ringger face another count of distributing a controlled substance that does not involve Ranochak, according to a June 22 indictment that is now unsealed and open to the public.
The allegation presented in the indictment describes a comprehensive plan for prescribing large quantities of drugs, insisting that some transactions be paid in cash and that patients must fill their prescriptions at the North Anthony Pharmacy. The court documents say that patients who failed to pass a required urine test often could receive controlled substances if they paid a “fine” or “penalty” to one of the alleged conspirators.
The indictments against the men involved in the Fort Wayne business were part of a wide sweep of federal charges on health care fraud and related crimes involving 412 defendants in at least 22 states, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In total, the offenses across the country involved $1.3 billion in fraudulent billing, the Department of Justice said.
The indictment accuses the North Anthony Pharmacy men of distributing controlled substances including methodone, hydrocodone and testosterone.
The indictment against Ranochak, Losier and Ringger also says that they should be subject to forfeiture if they are convicted. In other words, they should have to surrender any property they gained, directly or indirectly, through crimes alleged in the indictment. The offenses the men are charged with occurred in 2012 and 2013, according to the filing.