Las Vegas, Nevada - A nurse practitioner and a surgical technician pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday in connection to the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids and for committing Medicare and Medicaid fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada.
Robert D. Harvey, a surgical technician, 45, of Henderson, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and three counts of distribution of a controlled substance, and Alejandro “Alex” Incera, aka Alexander Jiminez-Incera, an Advance Practice Registered Nurse, 48, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to eight counts of distribution of controlled substance and eight counts of health care fraud.
The investigation revealed that from January 1, 2018 to about May 3, 2018, Harvey and Incera conspired to distribute Hydrocodone and Oxycodone to patients without a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments.
Harvey, who did not have a medical or DEA license, met individuals in various parking lots in the Las Vegas Valley and unlawfully distributed opioid prescriptions using Incera’s prescription pad with Dr. Horace P. Guerra’s DEA license number, in exchange for cash payments. Dr. Guerra would pre-sign the prescriptions, facilitating Harvey’s unlawful distribution.
Incera also defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by writing Lidocaine, Modafinil, and Diclofenac Sodium prescriptions to patients without a legitimate medical purpose between July 2016 to about December 2017. The prescriptions were filled and processed by Atlas Pharmacy who paid Incera approximately $30,000 in exchange for referring patients to fill their prescriptions at Atlas Pharmacy. The Medicare and Medicaid programs were defrauded out of approximately $3.7 million.
United States District Judge James C. Mahan accepted their guilty pleas and scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 10, 2019. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and distribution of a controlled substance, and the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for health care fraud.
Co-defendant Leslie Kalyn, aka Leslie Feth, a Doctor of Nursing, 35, of Las Vegas, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six counts of health care fraud and is scheduled for a jury trial on September 23, 2019. Guerra, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and he is scheduled to be sentenced on October 25, 2018. Nelson M. Mukuna, owner and operator of Atlas Pharmacy, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, and he is scheduled to be sentenced on December 3, 2018.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kilby Macfadden is prosecuting the case.
The District of Nevada was selected as one of 12 districts nationally to participate in the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, a program that utilizes data to help combat the devastating opioid crisis. The District of Nevada has assigned a prosecutor that focuses solely on investigating and prosecuting health care fraud related to medical professionals who prescribe opioids, that unlawfully divert of dispense prescription opioids for illegitimate purposes.