California man gets prison for $62M military medical fraud

August 26, 2020 GMT

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man who submitted more than $62 million in phony claims to a military medical program is going to federal prison.

James Chen of Monterey Park was sentenced Wednesday to 34 months in prison and order to pay more than $28 million in restituion. He pleaded guilty to health care fraud three years ago.

Chen owned a pharmacy company in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce that hired marketers to obtain prescriptions for medications that were billed to TRICARE, a health care benefit program for military members and their families, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.


He also ran a website where people could request prescriptions without being examined by a doctor.

Prosecutors said he billed the program for compounded medications that weren’t prescribed by physicians for their patients. Compounded medications are those using altered ingredients of a drug or multiple drugs and are tailored to individual patients.