A federal jury has found three North Texas men guilty in a $145 million scheme to defraud the Department of Labor through the submission of fraudulent claims for prescription compound creams. The convictions come after a trial where evidence revealed a conspiracy involving Dehshid "David" Nourian, 59, of Plano; Christopher Rydberg, 47, of Fort Worth, and others.
According to court documents, Nourian and Rydberg, who owned and operated three pharmacies in Fort Worth and Arlington, conspired to pay Dr. Michael Taba, 59, of McKinney, and other doctors to prescribe medically unnecessary compound creams to injured federal workers. The scheme involved paying Taba for referring expensive compound medications to be filled by their pharmacies.
Between May 2014 and March 2017, the pharmacies submitted fraudulent claims to the Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (DOL-OWCP) and Blue Cross Blue Shield, totaling over $145 million. They received more than $90 million in payments for unnecessary prescriptions, exchanged for bribes and kickbacks.
In an attempt to conceal their gains, Nourian, Rydberg, and others allegedly laundered the money through purported holding companies and tried to evade paying federal income taxes on the illicit proceeds.
The convictions include charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and multiple counts of health care fraud. Nourian and Rydberg face additional charges of conspiracy to launder money, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Each count carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The sentencing for all defendants is scheduled for a later date.