September 20, 2018  Last Update: November 27, 2017, 8:52 pm

Florida Pill Mill Pharmacist Sues US Govt for Citizenship

Florida pharmacist accused of running pill mill dispensary sues US government for blocking/delaying citizenship.

A pharmacist in Florida is suing the US government for failing to give him citizenship, according to reports. Mohamed Ismail, from Egypt, claims the federal government should grant him citizenship because he meets the criteria. According to reports, he is married to an American citizen, and was granted permanent residence (a “green card”) in 2007. But that’s only the tip of the story.

In the background is a summer 2010 raid of his pharmacy, and claims he ran a pill mill dispensary.

Last year, DEA agents working with local police to investigate Florida pill mills, learned that the Panama City pharmacy was filling bogus pain killer prescriptions from South Florida. Law enforcement officials claimed that despite repeated requests to better scrutinize prescriptions and stop filling prescriptions from South Florida, the pharmacist continued business as usual.

Bay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Medicine Shoppe Owner Ismail Mohamed and dozens of other individuals in June of 2010, in an effort to crack down on area pill mills. Two days later, local authorities agreed to drop criminal charges if Mohamed agreed to stop selling drugs to people with prescriptions outside of the panhandle area.

Agents decided to treat the pharmacist “like a drug dealer” and raided the pharmacy, seizing computers and records. The “BADGES” task force (the Bay Area Drug Gang Enforcement Squad) found that bogus prescriptions  for hydrocodone, oxycodone, and other opiates had been filled at the Medicine Shoppe.

Investigators said Mohamed dispensed 23,000 oxycodone pills in the first 20 days of June alone, more than ten times as many as local supermarket chains Publix and Winn-Dixie combined. Another report compared the Medicine Shoppe to 2 other local pharmacies, which had dispensed 3000 pills total.

“We were investigating him because he was the largest supplier of oxycodone in Bay County,” said Maj. Tommy Ford of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

It got worse for pharmacist Mohamed Ismail. Following the raid on his pharmacy, DEA agents accused him of failing to document properly the sale of 70,000 pills. A lawsuit was filed citing 664 instances of impropriety, which were originally estimated to generate $664,000 in fines. The tally was 68,748 oxycodone tablets and 4,490 hydrocodone tablets, plus 128 methadone tablets that were not documented according to authorities.

Then it got even worse. In July of 2011, the DEA filed a lawsuit demanding $7.3 million dollars from Mohamed Ismail, for “poor record keeping and for failing to keep track of a large number of pain pills“, according to reports. Now, in November, Mohamed Ismail is suing the government for failing to grant him citizenship. He feels the government is unfairly (and illegally) delaying his application.

Things may not be going to well for Mohamed’s business. The corporate entity listed for the Medicine Shoppe is Manfy, Inc. Florida registration records show Manfy Inc. was initially registered in August of 2009, and voluntarily dissolved on 11/2/2011 based on a request submitted 10/25/2011. A search of The Medicine Shoppe website for a pharmacy near Panama City, Florida now returns “no pharmacies“. A recent news report stated that the shop is no longer known as the Medicine Shoppe, although no new name was reported.

Update: As Mohamed Ismail defends himself against these allegations and law suits, he may encounter more problems with his pubic image. It seems there is a convicted felon with the same or very similar name, who is also a pharmacist. Our research uncovered another pharmacist with the same name, with prior convictions for Grand Larceny (Medicaid fraud) in New York State.

Mohamed and Ismail are common names. We are not sure if Mohamed and Mohammad are different spellings of the same common name. We have no reason to suspect that the Mohamed Ismail of Panama City, Florida is connected in any way to any other pharmacist. However, we do note some confusion with a Mohammad Ismail in New York and New Jersey.

Our Internet records search uncovered  a press release about Medicaid fraud, from the New Jersey Insurance Investigator in 1999. They had uncovered Medicaid fraud at a clinic owned by a Mohammed Haider, whom they could no longer locate:

Haider closed his clinic shortly after being notified by authorities that an administrative review of all Medicaid claims submitted by East Broadway Medical Associates was underway. There is currently a warrant out for Haider’s arrest.

The Mohammad Haider Ismail convicted of Medicaid fraud in New York is Mohamed Ismail the registered pharmacist licensed in NY and NJ in 2004

In 2003, New Jersey revoked the privileges of a registered pharmacist named Mohammad Ismail, revoking his privileges as a pharmacist due to a conviction for Medicaid fraud in New York State. A New Jersey Board of Pharmacy newsletter notes the cause of action as a 2003 conviction in Kings County, New York. Are these the same person?

In New York State, records of revocations of pharmacy privileges in 2006 linked the names “Mohammad Haider” and “Mohamed Ismail” as one and the same person, a registered pharmacist, who had been convicted of Medicaid fraud (Grand Larceny) in New York State in 2003. New York revoked the pharmacy license  of one “Mohammad Haider Ismail a/k/a Mohamed Ismail” of Ringoes, NJ, because of Grand Larceny charges stemming from a conviction for Medicaid fraud.

New York State corporate records show that Better Health Pharmacy of Brooklyn (in Kings County) was owned by a Mohammad Ismail, between sometime in the late 1990’s and October 2004, when the corporation was dissolved.

In New Jersey in 2008, Ismail Mohammad had “expressed remorse for his unlawful conduct” and applied for reinstatement of pharmacy privileges, which were granted. All of this took place before Mohamed Ismail established Manfly, Inc. in Florida in 2008. Online business records show Manfly Inc. to be the corporation that operated the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in Panama City.

We are aware of no connection between the Mohamed Ismail registered as a pharmacist in Florida in 2002, and the registered pharmacist Mohamed Ismail (a.k.a. Mohammad Ismail) convicted of felony Medicaid fraud in New York in 2003. We only note the coincidence of similar names, since the last thing this accused pill mill pharmacist needs is more bad press from someone else with the same name.  We did find one record with a more complete name for the pharmacist in Panama City: the Florida pharmacy license database shows a full name of Ismail Mohamed Mohamed.

Hopefully these new prescription drug databases coming online will clear up some of the confusion around who is buying and selling prescription drugs in our country.

References:

  • Panama City pill mill raided 2010  http://www.newsherald.com/articles/searched-84869-city-shoppe.html
  • Panama City pharmacist Mohamed Ismail faces $664,000 fine for not accounting for 70,000 pills dispensed http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/125525243.html
  • More details of the missing pills http://www.wmbb.com/story/15084790/pharmacy-owner-responds-to-facing-millions-in-dea-fines
  • Pharmacist agrees not to fill scripts from non-local areas, and avoid prosecution http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/97198884.html
  • http://www.newsherald.com/articles/shoppe-84946-bust-city.html
  • DEA Wants $7 Million back from FL Pill Mill Doc Mohamed Ismail http://www.newsherald.com/articles/panama-95286-shoppe-city.html
  • June 2011 – Mohamed Ismail Panama City pharmacy robbed twice in one week http://www.wmbb.com/Global/story.asp?S=14958306
  • Nov 2011 Panama City Pharmacist Mohamed Ismail sues US over green card denial http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/Local_Pharmacist_Files_Lawsuit_Over_Immigration_134183008.html
  • 2004 NJ Board of Pharmacy Suspends license for pharmacist “Mohamed Ismail” following fraud conviction http://www.nj.gov/lps/ca/action/20041007_28RI02201900.pdf
  • May 2006 New York State license revocation due to discovery of Grand Larceny  http://www.op.nysed.gov/opd/may06.htm#isma

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