New Jersey Lawyers for pharmacies and dispensaries

By Spodek Law Group | August 30, 2020

All healthcare facilities go through routine audits by government regulatory oversight agencies to ensure that payment data is being coded properly and all financial transfers are accurate. In most instances, this is a regular operation and the process is just a civil inspection, even when agents see unusual billing patterns or redundant charges that could suggest a problem of some sort. Physicians and treatment centers are commonly evaluated for testing necessities and other revenue actions that could potentially be abuse of the system, especially when all of the testing equipment and treatment professionals are concentrated in one general facility. These standard oversight agencies are not necessarily focused on criminal activity, but more so on whether unnecessary treatment action is being filed or a claimed bill is for a treatment that never occurred, establishing possible fraud on some level. That cannot be said for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. When the DEA shows up at your door it is always random and they always have a plan of action.

The dea officers are not exactly like many officials from other oversight agencies. They are policemen and most of the time when they make a raid someone is going to jail. A real potential exists for everyone working in a facility that is engaged in criminal activity to be in that number. dea agents normally conduct investigations just like other detectives and do not consider drug dispersal like other agencies. They are looking for specific drug billing activity for substances they have scheduled according to legitimate need and potential for overuse. These drugs are commonly narcotics or even marijuana in states that allow the drug as a medical treatment.

dealing with the DEA is just like being arrested for any other crime. Agents will initially try to ascertain information through questioning before making a formal arrest. Even when you are just caught in the middle of a criminal situation being conducted by others it is important to not give the police any information. The dea agents are not your friend, and many times they will act nice just for possibly making the case stronger. It is vital to call a healthcare legal professional who is experienced in how the government builds a successful criminal case. Former prosecutors serve as vital legal counsel when the dea is conducting a raid, and it is very important to call one immediately even during the process if possible. These are criminal situations and anything said will become part of the record. Always ask to call a lawyer.

Another aspect of a raid will probably be a request from the agents to voluntarily surrender your licenses for the facility and all of the staff. Do not do this under any circumstance. Those are official documents that will be difficult to retain if they are suspended. They must be adjudicated during the prosecution process and ruled suspended by a judge, except if they are handed over voluntarily. Those are your personal professional papers and are protected by the Fourth Amendment. Never volunteer any certifications or allow the police to look at your business computer records without a search warrant. Having a former prosecutor representing your case means that you can be assured of as much protection of your legal rights as possible, based on the evaluation of evidence for probable cause application. If someone is injured, as a result of a drug you sell – it’s possible you could face a potential personal injury claim.

Many times when the dea serves warrants they are looking for one or two specific individuals who they know have been abusing their prescription access to dispense certain medications to certain individuals. This can also include using prescriptions written by doctors who are part of the drug mill operation or allowing another individual to use their signature. This can happen unbeknownst to any facility management that will often be caught in the middle. Facility managers need attorneys too because they are at least being evaluated as suspects. Always call an experienced criminal defense legal professional who can step in on an investigation or raid immediately.

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