Owner of Northeast Philadelphia Pharmacy Sentenced to 3 ½ Years for Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone and Fraud

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Mitchell Spivack, 63, of Collegeville, PA, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $451,328 restitution and to forfeit $116,000 by United States District Court Judge Harvey Bartle III, for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and healthcare fraud. These charges were the result of a joint investigation between the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

In June 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to a Criminal Information charging him with these offenses. According to the charging documents, Spivack owned Verree Pharmacy, a small neighborhood pharmacy located in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia, and was the pharmacist in charge for more than thirty years. During that time in business, Spivack and his coconspirators allegedly cultivated Verree’s reputation as a “no questions asked” pharmacy for oxycodone and other dangerous and addictive opioid drugs. By 2016, Verree was the largest purchaser of oxycodone among retail pharmacies in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Spivack and his coconspirators filled prescriptions for wholesale quantities of high-dose oxycodone despite obvious alterations to the prescriptions and other red flags indicating that the drugs were not for a legitimate medical purpose. In addition, Spivack and other employees of Verree submitted entirely fraudulent claims to health care benefit programs for prescription drugs not dispensed. These drugs were designated in patient profiles as “BBDF” which was an acronym for “Bill But Don’t Fill.” From 2013 through 2019, Medicare and other insurers paid over $450,000 for these bogus claims.

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