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Former IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

February 6, 2017

Lynchburg, VIRGINIA – A former employee of the Internal Revenue Service pled guilty today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to health care fraud charges related to his misuse of government health insurance benefits, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.

Ronald Lewis Hooper, 69, of Lynchburg, Va., pled guilty today to one count of health care fraud.

According to evidence presented at today’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering, should this case have gone to trial, the United States would have proven that Hooper misused his government health benefits to seek opiate drugs such as Nubian, Phenergan, and others, at various emergency departments. The United States would have proven that Hopper began seeking these drugs at various emergency departments only after his primary physician began to restrict the number of injections he would provide to Hooper to two per week. Hooper sought additional injections at emergency departments at hospital facilities throughout Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Between December 2002 and December 2012, Hooper received services at hospitals and emergency rooms on approximately 1,700 separate occasions seeking injections of Nubian and Phenergan, incurring more than $824,000 in fraudulent medical payments.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Special Investigations Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering prosecuted the case for the United States.