Former WNY man accused of defrauding insurance companies out of millions of dollars

Western New York

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former western New Yorker has been accused of defrauding insurance companies out of millions of dollars.

Michael Luehrsen, 38, who now lives in Miami, was charged with money laundering, corruptly destroying evidence and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

The indictment says Luehrsen was a pharmaceutical sales representative who later owned a company called MedHype Typ. Prosecutors say that between 2014 and 2016, he and others started marketing “compounded medications.” These are made by mixing, combining or altering the ingredients of a drug in order to create something tailored for an individual patient’s needs.

According to officials, these creams and patches were marketed as non-narcotic treatments for pain, scars and wounds.

Prosecutors say the compounded medications were not actually tailored to individuals’ needs, but instead were made to contain ingredients with high reimbursement rates from health insurers.

“For example, one patient began receiving compounded medications, with monthly refills, from approximately January 2015 through December 2016, with an average monthly reimbursement rate of more than $16,000 per compounded medication. The patient’s three children also began receiving compounded medications, with monthly refills, from approximately April 2015 through various dates in 2016. In total, those prescriptions and refills resulted in reimbursement of approximately $2.819 million.”

U.S. Attorney’s Office – Western District of New York

Prosecutors say Luehrsen and his associates have also been accused of getting compounded medications from doctors who never examined and had no doctor-physician relationship with the patients whom the medications were prescribed for.

The indictment says one doctor signed more than 140 compound medication prescriptions for 19 patients, according to officials.

In addition to this, prosecutors say Luehrsen also obtained many high-reimbursement compounded medications for himself.

Following his arraignment on Wednesday, Luehrsen was released “on conditions,” prosecutors say.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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