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Todd Schreier, a former Butte businessman, has been sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud due to his participation in a south Florida scheme that involved payments of some $3.6 million in fraudulent insurance claims for “compounded prescription medications that were medically unnecessary and not eligible for reimbursement,” according to the indictment filed against Schreier and three co-defendants.

According to previous reporting, Schreier was the co-founder of two businesses located in the Butte Plaza Mall with his wife Amanda Schreier: Schreier Group, a consulting firm, and Escapology Butte, an entertainment business. However, Amanda Schreier is currently listed, with a Kentucky address, as the sole owner of Schreier Group LLC on the Montana Secretary of State’s website. Schreier Group is listed as the owner of Escapology Butte.

On Jan. 3, K. Michael Moore, United States Chief District Judge for the Miami Division of the Southern District of Florida, sentenced Schreier to 12 months, plus one day, in prison and ordered him and six co-defendants to pay $341,312.50 in restitution, combined.

Moore’s judgment says that restitution must come from wages earned while incarcerated and earnings made after his release. And it says, “These payments do not preclude the government from using other assets or income of the defendant to satisfy the restitution obligations.”

Asked whether Schreier’s restitution obligations would jeopardize the future of Escapology, Jeffrey Weiner, one of Schreier’s Miami-based attorneys, said Tuesday, “Hopefully not.”

In a June 2018 indictment that included three other defendants, Schreier was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, five counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks, and four counts of receipt of kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program. The indictment alleges these crimes were committed between 2013 and 2016.

According to the original indictment, Schreier, then listed as a resident of Hillsborough County, Florida, “received kickbacks and bribes from ASC Pharmacy in exchange for recruiting and referring individuals to whom ASC Pharmacy dispensed prescription compounded medications.” The indictment states that it “was a purpose of the conspiracy for the defendants and their co-conspirators to unlawfully enrich themselves.”

In court documents, prosecutors described a conspiracy that began when the owners of ASC “designed and formulated compounded medications not based on scientific evaluations of effectiveness or individualized patient need, but rather to maximize financial reimbursement from TRICARE, Medicare, and private health care benefit programs to ASC Pharmacy.” (TRICARE is government managed health insurance for military service members.)

ASC Pharmacy then entered into “sham marketing agreements” with Schreier and others to “disguise and conceal the payment of kickbacks as legitimate compensation,” the indictment states. Schreier also allegedly provided “pre-printed prescription pads containing formulations of compounded medications designed and formulated without regard to the actual medical need of the recruited and referred TRICARE beneficiaries, but rather designed and formulated to maximize financial reimbursement from TRICARE to ASC Pharmacy.”

The result, the indictment states, was that ASC received “overpayments from TRICARE, Medicare and private health care benefit programs of at least $3.6 million.”  The indictment also alleges Schreier and a co-defendant “solicited and received kickbacks and bribes … in exchange for referring TRICARE beneficiaries to ASC Pharmacy.”

In September, Schreier pleaded guilty to just one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The other charges were dismissed or, in the case of the wire fraud component of the first count, not pursued.

“People make mistakes,” Weiner said of his client’s plea. “That’s how it is in life. He took responsibility and everyone appreciated that.”

Other conspirators implicated in the scheme were sentenced to terms of up to six years in prison.

Schreier has been ordered to surrender on Feb. 4 to a “facility as close as possible to family in Ashland, Kentucky,” according to Moore’s judgment. Ashland is home to a federal correctional institution with low- and minimum-security components.

Moore also sentenced Schreier to three years of supervised release.

According to Alana Ferko from the Butte Plaza Mall, the Schreier Group closed its consulting business office on Aug. 31 of last year, but still owns and operates Escapology.

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