Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
February 2, 2011: Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Mail and Wire Fraud
WASHINGTON – Gregory Pfizenmayer of Foley, Ala., has pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Herman J. Weber in Cincinnati to one count of conspiracy to commit mailand wire fraud in connection with a drug diversion scheme in which he was involved, the Justice Department announced today.
The government information alleged that a co-conspirator supplied Pfizenmayer with prescription drugs, including, among others, Lupron, Procrit and Neulasta. Pfizenmayer subsequently sold these drugs to licensed drug wholesalers. Governing regulations require sales of prescription drugs to be accompanied by certifications identifying each prior sale or purchase of the drugs. The certifications accompanying the drugs that Pfizenmayer sold falsely stated that they had been obtained from dealers authorized by the relevant drug manufacturer.
In reality, according to the information, the drugs were not obtained from authorized dealers, nor were they obtained from the companies listed as sources in the documents accompanying the drugs. In fact, many of the prescription drugs sold by Pfizenmayer were obtained by physicians who, as health care entities, receive discounts when purchasing prescription drugs.
Pfizenmayer received compensation for the prescription drugs through wire transfers, and in turn paid his co-conspirators certain percentages of the revenue through wire transfers. All told, Pfizenmayer sold approximately $2.7 million in prescription drugs through this scheme.
"Diversion of prescription drugs threatens the safety and quality of these drugs, and this prosecution demonstrates our commitment to address drug diversion and the dangers it presents," said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. "We will continue our efforts to ensure the integrity of the legitimate drug supply chain, one which makes prescription drugs in the United States the safest in the world."
"The ability to track powerful pharmaceuticals in our health care system is a linchpin of consumer safety," U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart said. "We will prosecute those who willfully jeopardize that system."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Porter of the Southern District of Ohio and Trial Attorney Mark Josephs of the Justice Department’s Office of Consumer Litigation. The investigation was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.