October 10, 2006
Bowling Green, Mo. — A Louisiana, Mo. pharmacist was sentenced to one year in jail today and ordered to pay $67,500 in fines for Medicaid fraud and stealing after he was found guilty of billing Medicaid for thousands of dollars in medical prescriptions that were never filled. Jeffrey C. Barnes (DOB 1/24/58) was found guilty by a Pike County jury on all 28 counts against him and his corporation in August. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Attorney General Jay Nixon's office prosecuted the charges against Barnes and his company Jeff Barnes Inc. d.b.a. Best Buy Pharmacy of Louisiana.
Circuit Judge Dan Dildine sentenced Barnes to one year in jail after the jury found him guilty on all 14 counts and his business guilty on all 14 counts. Each was found guilty of one count stealing by deceit and 13 Medicaid fraud counts The court also ordered joint and several liability for $49,732 for restitution, $99,465 for double damages and $130,000 for civil penalties. In all, the verdict will mean the return of $279,198 to the Medicaid program.
Nixon's criminal charges stated that between January 2003 and January 2004, Barnes defrauded Medicaid program funds of at least $20,000 in value by billing the program for prescriptions that were never filled or even prescribed by a doctor. Doctors testified that they had no record of having prescribed medications and individuals who never received the drugs even though Barnes and Best Buy Pharmacy of Louisiana billed for dispensing the medications.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General's Office has authority under state law to investigate and prosecute, both civilly and criminally, allegations of fraud against Missouri's Medicaid program.