On Thursday, April 13, 2023, nine co-conspirators were sentenced to various prison terms for their respective roles in a fraud scheme in which they submitted false claims to Tricare and the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. 

John Cruise and his wife, LaShonia Johnson, were the co-owners of Assurance Consolidated Pharmacy in Spring, Texas, and Cruise was the owner of the Injured Federal Workers Advocate Association (“IFWAA”). He, along with other members of the conspiracy, recruited injured federal workers or claimants to sign up with the IFWAA in exchange for free assistance with their workers’ compensation claims. 

Then, other conspiracy members created compounded drugs based on the federal reimbursement rate for specific ingredient formularies, even though the individual medical needs of a claimant did not call for such a formulary. Physicians in the conspiracy who were paid kickbacks for their cooperation would then prescribe the compounded medications. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Program paid millions of dollars at a time to the entities controlled by the conspirators, totaling approximately $126 million from 2014-2018. 

Cruise was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, while Johnson was sentenced to 15 years. Other members were sentenced to between 18 months and ten years imprisonment. Four additional members are scheduled to be sentenced May 25. 

The case is USA v. Cruise, case no. 4:18-cr-00344 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback litigation and white collar criminal matters.  If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.