St. Augustine Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to $2 Million Compound Pharmacy Fraud Scheme
Jacksonville, FL – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Dino Ajloni (40, St. Augustine) has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud in connection with his role in a fraudulent compound pharmacy scheme. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, Ajloni was the operator of Wellness Pharmacy in St Augustine. He performed various jobs, including marketing prescriptions, recruiting physicians to write and fill prescriptions at Wellness Pharmacy, and other jobs.
Ajloni also relied on marketers to help recruit patients to get prescriptions filled at his pharmacy. One of these marketers brought his family in to become “patients” of Wellness Pharmacy. The pharmacy filled numerous prescriptions for the marketer’s family and received nearly $200,000 in government reimbursement. Ajloni admitted paying the marketer almost $50,000 for the referral of work, in violation of the Anti-Kickback statute.
Ajloni also recruited patients himself. For example, he offered patients access to “anything in the store” if they agreed to receive compound prescription drugs. At other times, he offered gift baskets, with chocolate, deodorant, nuts, and other accessories, to patients that accepted compounded prescriptions.
In 2016, TRICARE developed suspicions regarding the legitimacy of these compound prescriptions. Because the vast majority of Wellness Pharmacy’s claims were purportedly written by a doctor who had never separately billed for these patient visits, TRICARE asked Wellness Pharmacy to complete an audit. During the course of the audit, Ajloni and others made a variety of false and misleading statements. Among other things, Ajloni noted that all patients paid co-pays, no patient was offered anything of value to receive prescriptions, and that Wellness Pharmacy called the doctor prior to dispensing the prescriptions.
Ajloni received $1,916,206.97 in healthcare reimbursement that he was not otherwise entitled to receive.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Mehta.