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Health Fraud Case: Mississippi Pharmacy Owner Gets 18 Years

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Health Fraud Case: Mississippi Pharmacy Owner Gets 18 Years


HATTIESBURG—A Mississippi owner of pharmacies and pharmacy distributors has been sentenced to 18 years in prison and ordered to repay the government nearly $287.7 million for his part in what prosecutors described as a $510 million health care fraud involving high-priced pain cream. Wade Ashley Walters, 54, of Hattiesburg, also was ordered at Friday’s sentencing to forfeit nearly $56.6 million that he gained personally from the scheme, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Walters had been charged in a 37-count indictment. He pleaded guilty in July to one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Sentencing was conducted Friday by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett. “The fraud committed by Walters and others in this investigation wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and deprived individuals of needed medical care,” said David P. Burns, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s …

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