News 5 is learning more details involving an investigation of two Mobile Pain Doctors, John Couch and Xiulu Ruan with The Physicians Pain Specialists of Alabama.
Dubbed ‘Operation Pilluted’, Federal agents raided the doctors two offices in May and charged them with illegal prescription drug distribution and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
Federal court documents obtained by News 5 accuse Christopher Manfuso of conspiring with Doctors Ruan and Couch to make money from workers compensation patients. Manfuso managed a drug dispensing company, Industrial Pharmacy Management and later formed his own company, Comprehensive Rx. The doctors would allegedly keep patients from going to outside pharmacies by prescribing and providing patients medicine inside the doctor’s office, and Manfuso would guarantee the doctors large sums of money.
Manfuso agreed to pay Doctor Couch at least 18-thousand dollars a month while promising Dr. Ruan 45-thousand dollars a month which later increased to more than 52-thousand dollars a month. According to the filing, over a two year period the contract paid the doctors more than $240-thousand dollars.
Court documents also reveal emails between Manfuso and Dr. Ruan.
On or about April 14th of 2014, Dr. Ruan sent an email to Manfuso…”You mentioned last week that you were concerned that Zofran got expensive. The price did go up a bit, but, it’s still a very profitable medication to dispense!”
In other emails discussing the costs and potential profits to be made on meds, Manfuso informed Dr. Ruan, “The cost for LidoPro is $20.99, the AVP (average wholesale price) is $465.85. This is a very profitable product.”
Manfuso is charged with conspiracy to violate the anti kickback statute. If convicted, he could serve five years in prison and a 250-thousand-dollar fine.
He’s scheduled to face a judge Thursday for arraignment and a change of plea hearing.