Utah Pharmacy Owner Arrested on Suspicion of Fraudulent Billing

November 1, 2005

The owner of the Park City Pharmacy at The Clinic in Utah has been arrested on suspicion of fraudulently billing an insurance company for drugs that never were prescribed.

Thomas Evan Strebel, 60, was arrested for investigation of insurance fraud, witness tampering and bribery. He is being investigated for an alleged attempt to bribe a witness to not cooperate in the investigation.

The arrest was based on prescriptions involving one patient, but submissions for other people are being investigated, said FBI Special Agent Brent Robbins.

In January, a doctor contacted the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing after receiving a complaint from the insurance company regarding prescription practices involving one of her patients, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City.

The company said the patient was being prescribed asthma medicine when she doesn’t suffer from the disease, the affidavit said. The doctor notified DOPL that the patient’s insurance company had been billed for multiple asthma drugs under her name that had not been prescribed.

In September, the insurance carrier provided billing information on claims allegedly not authorized by the doctor but submitted on behalf of the patient from Strebel’s pharmacy.

The company paid nearly $27,000 for the claims.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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