Insurance Fraud NEWS
Portsmouth and Ironton treatment center operator Paul Vernier indicted on drug trafficking charges
March 27, 2019, Portsmouth, CT
A man who operated two drug treatment facilities in Portsmouth and another in Ironton was indicted Wednesday on 34 felonies ranging from drug trafficking to Medicaid fraud, according to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Paul Vernier, 56, is accused of overbilling for Medicaid services and illegally operating a dispensary for the addiction treatment drug Suboxone, Attorney General David Yost announced in a news release.
Vernier's facilities are now closed but were called Community Counseling and Treatment Services, officials said.
All the charges date from 2014. The indictment says Vernier stole more than $1.5 million dollars.
“The evidence will show that this guy abused the trust of hurting people who were looking for help and that he played the rest of us – who pay the bills – for fools,” Yost said. “Time for some accountability.”
Investigators said Vernier dispensed Suboxone at his Ironton facility without authorization from a physician and overbilled the Ohio Department of Medicaid for services that lacked supporting documentation.
Vernier faces 17 counts of drug trafficking, 12 counts of money laundering, three counts of Medicaid fraud, one count of aggravated theft and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Prosecutors state in the indictment that $1.7 million spread across six bank accounts connected to Vernier is subject to forfeiture along with property in Portsmouth, West Portsmouth and Lawrence County.
The case against Vernier has been filed in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court. No trial date has been scheduled.