Just Put It on My Tab

Calculator and stethoscope on paperwork

Fraudsters don’t like to pay for anything. They want what they want for free, no matter the expense to others. Former family practitioner Emilio Ramon Navarro, 60, of Coal Center, Penn., kept a tab open with Medicaid by repeatedly billing the government healthcare agency for illegal prescriptions. He provided opioid painkillers and Xanax to patients in exchange for sex and stuck the U.S. government with the tab. (What an upstanding guy.)

The former family doctor, who previously worked out of medical offices located in Mt. Pleasant and Perryopolis, was indicted on 161 counts related to his illegal prescription scheme that occurred between April 2015 and mid-2019. Navarro took advantage of an opioid-addicted patient and prescribed hundreds of doses of the opioid medication “outside the usual course of professional practice” and “for no legitimate purpose but in exchange for sexual favors,” according to the indictment. Another patient came forward in March 2020 with more allegations against the doctor, this time trading Xanax for sex.

On September 23, 2019, Navarro’s Fayette County office was raided by a rapid-response team deployed by the U.S Attorney’s Office. (Definitely bad for business.) During the arrest, drug and alcohol counselors assisted investigators by handing out flyers to a line of approximately 50 patients standing outside of Navarro’s office door. (The flyers provided information on where to seek legitimate care, find a doctor or pharmacy, and how to get into an opioid addiction treatment program.)  

Navarro pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud for violating federal narcotics and health care laws. (The government refused to pick up the tab for this fraudster.) He also “accepted responsibility” for eight counts of unlawful distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance and relinquished his medical license. (That’s a relief.) 

When sentenced in March 2022, Navarro could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million for the narcotics conviction. He could get an additional 10 more years behind bars for the healthcare fraud conviction and a fine of up to $250,000. (That would put him getting out of the slammer at about 90 years of age without much money left to his name. What a crappy way to spend his golden years. Too bad he didn’t think about that before he carried out his illegal scheme.) 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Family doctor guilty of giving patients opioid painkillers, Xanax in exchange for sex,” published by TribLive.com on October 27, 2021.

A family doctor who practiced in Westmoreland and Fayette counties has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing opioid painkillers in exchange for sex, federal prosecutors said.

Emilio Ramon Navarro, 60, also pleaded guilty to health care fraud for billing the federal government to pick up the tab for illegal prescriptions, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman said.



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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.