Trivillian's Pharmacy sentenced for federal healthcare and drug crimes

Updated 5 years ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

Charleston, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that Trivillian’s Pharmacy, a long-standing Kanawha City retail and compounding pharmacy, was sentenced in federal court in Charleston to three years of probation. 

Trivillian’s Pharmacy had previously entered guilty pleas on February 25, 2015, to healthcare fraud and misbranding drugs. Trivillian’s Pharmacy admitted it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by dispensing compounded drugs while billing for more expensive brand name drugs, dispensing generic drugs while billing for more expensive brand name drugs, billing for drugs that were never dispensed and dispensing drugs that were compounded outside of a safe and clean environment. 

Trivillian’s Pharmacy also admitted to dispensing compounded drugs under labels and identification numbers associated with name brand drugs.  As part of the plea, Trivillian’s Pharmacy agreed to make restitution to the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the amount of $355, 312.19**, and to forfeit an additional $355,312.19 of proceeds of the fraud schemes to the United States.

Paula J. Butterfield, the former owner and president of Trivillian’s Pharmacy was also sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  Butterfield, who was insured by Medicare, previously pleaded guilty to causing Trivillian’s Pharmacy to bill Medicare for drugs that were never dispensed to her.  Butterfield has agreed make restitution to Medicare in the amount of $5,106.90.

Goodwin’s office has also reached a civil settlement with Trivillian’s Pharmacy under the federal False Claims Act, through which the United States recovered an additional $1.1 million for Medicare and Medicaid.  The settlement amount represents more than three times the losses suffered by these federal healthcare programs.  Between Trivillian’s Pharmacy and Butterfield, a total of more than $1.4 million will be paid through the civil settlement, criminal restitution and asset forfeiture.

Goodwin said, “Pharmacists and pharmacies hold positions of trust in our communities. Patients trust them to provide the medicines they need and bill correctly for the medicines they dispense. The crimes committed in this case represent a substantial breach of that trust. Here, the pharmacist and the pharmacy she owned were held accountable for their crimes and the programs they stole from were made whole. This should send a message to others who would engage in such conduct.”   

The investigation was conducted by the United States Health and Human Services, the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the West Virginia State Police, and the West Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Eumi Choi was in charge of the prosecution.  Assistant United States Attorney John Gianola is responsible for the civil settlement. 

** The pharmacy gets credit towards restitution for this amount based on its payments to date under the civil settlement.