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West Virginia Pharmacy Closes After Federal Charges

February 4th, 2015

A pharmacy that has been a fixture in Charleston, West Virginia for over thirty years is to be sold as part of a $1.1 million dollar settlement between the pharmacy owner and the federal government. At first glance Trivillian’s Pharmacy appears to be a slice of Main Street, U.S.A., complete with a soda fountain and pharmacists who still compound drugs the old-fashioned way. But in September of last year the store was the scene of a Federal Drug Enforcement Agency raid, complete with swarms of DEA agents as well as representatives from U.S. Health and Human Services and Medicaid fraud investigators seen rummaging through the store. The raid followed a previously filed lawsuit charging the store as a “pill mill.” That lawsuit was later rescinded, but that was not the end of the trouble for pharmacy owner Paula Butterfield. In December she was charged with two counts of health care fraud and a single count of misbranding drugs. She was also charged with making a false statement about a health care matter.

 

According to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, over a period of approximately four years, the pharmacy was involved in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.  Though the penalty upon conviction included a fine of up to $1 million dollars as well as probation and an order of restitution, the government reached a civil settlement with the pharmacy and its owner representing over three times the loss suffered by Medicare and Medicaid. Goodwin said, “Cheating Medicare and Medicaid is really cheating the American taxpayer. Thanks to this settlement, money that was taken from the taxpayers y fraud can now be used to provide health care to the many people who depend on these programs.”

 

In addition to the pharmacy, Butterfield will be selling a condominium located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in order to meet the terms of the settlement. The agreement does not release her or the pharmacy from criminal liability. She also faces charges from the Internal Revenue Service.

 
     
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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

 
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