Metro-East News

Red Bud pharmacy owner pleads guilty to federal health care fraud charges

A Red Bud pharmacist pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal health care fraud charges of collecting more than $630,000 in Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance prescription medication claims.

Steven P. Gibson, 29, is the owner of Gibson’s Discount Drugs in Red Bud. According to a press release from the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Gibson admitted to submitting false and fraudulent claims in the names of his family members and customers for prescription medication.

Gibson said that he picked expensive medications, with the knowledge that those would be paid for by insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid. Some of those medications included Creon, which treats chronic pancreatitis, and hydroxychloroquine, which treats malaria.

These medications, among others, were not authorized by any physicians, nurse practitioners or physicians assistants, and were not given to any of the family members or customers whose names were on the prescription.

In February, Gibson told the News-Democrat that the 150 percent increase in prescriptions over 20 months was due to careful buying and “being real aggressive with new customers.”

Gibson faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. His sentencing is set for Nov. 27.

Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic