Saturday, October 31, 2020

Pharmacy owners sentenced for roles in $400 million pain cream fraud scheme

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Christmas tree farm owner Howard “Randy” Thomley, 61, was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a nearly $200 million dollar fraud involving expensive pain creams and vitamin pills.

His wife, Hope Thomley, 53, received a much harsher sentence as one of the organizers of the fraud with 14 years.

Sumrall businessman Glenn “Doyle” Beach, 47, received a 13-year sentence.

The government is seeking forfeiture of nearly $30 million in assets from Hope Thomley in addition to the $3.6 million Randy Thomley, 61, must pay in restitution. Another $9 million is owed by Beach.

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The three appeared Thursday before U.S. District Senior Judge Keith Starrett at William M. Colmer Federal Courthouse in Hattiesburg.

The prison sentence for Randy Thomley is an upward departure from the recommended sentencing guidelines, Starrett said, because he signed tax returns, knowing the reported income amount was much lower than the proceeds gained from the fraud.

Beach and the Thomleys were taken into custody immediately and will be held until he is assigned to a prison to serve his sentence.

Randy Thomley pleaded guilty in February 2019 to one count attempt and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

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Hope Thomley pleaded guilty to two charges: conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion. With Beach, nurse practitioner Gregory Parker, oral surgeon Brantley Nichols and others, the four are believed responsible for more than $200 million of the million fraud.

The Thomleys and Beach apologized to the court, the victims of the fraud and their families. They said they take full responsibility for their actions.

Among the items to be forfeited to the United States government is Thomley’s Christmas Tree Farm, which had been in the family for more than 50 years, the couple’s home in the Canebrake subdivision and a condominium in Destin, Florida.

The Thomleys and Beach with Hattiesburg businessman Wade Walters executed a scheme to defraud TRICARE and other health benefit programs and unlawfully enrich themselves by filing or causing to be filed fradulent claims related to compound medications to the tune of more than $400 million through Advantage Pharmacy, according to court documents.

The defendants funneled money into “shell and sham” businesses to hide the money they made through the scheme.

Starrett said it was one of the largest health care frauds in the country.

“The gravity of the crime is unfathomable,” Starrett said to Hope Thomley. “The nature of the web and the extent of this crime is awful and you are better than that.”

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