Suspended Pharmacist Charged with Health Care Fraud Conspiracy, Fraudulently Obtaining Controlled Substances and Misbranding Drugs

PITTSBURGH, PA – A suspended pharmacist has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, PA, on charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, misbranding of drugs, and health care fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The 12-count superseding Indictment named Timothy W. Forester, 43, of Venetia, PA 15367, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment presented to the court, from on or about November 14, 2018, to on or about February 14, 2019, Forester, a registered pharmacist who owned four pharmacies in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully obtained oxycodone and hydrocodone, Schedule II controlled substances, by misrepresentations, fraud, and deception.  In addition, the indictment alleges that Forester placed generic drugs into empty bottles of name brand drugs and sold the drugs as if they were name brand drugs.  The superseding indictment alleges that Forester conspired with others to commit health care fraud.

The law provides for a maximum per count sentence of four years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both as to Counts 1-10.  As to Count 11, the law provides for a maximum per count sentence of 3 years in prison, a fine of $ 250,000 or both.  As to Count 12, the law provides for a maximum per count sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.  Defendant was released on a $100,000 secured bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which combines personnel and resources from the following agencies to combat the growing prescription opioid epidemic: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.