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Tallahassee in-laws accused of massive prescription drug fraud scheme

David Copeland and Erin Kelly Copeland were taken into custody on May 13 on charges of...
David Copeland and Erin Kelly Copeland were taken into custody on May 13 on charges of racketeering, insurance fraud and patient brokering. They are now free on pretrial release.(Leon County Jail)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 12:26 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man and his sister-in-law are accused of carrying out a widespread insurance fraud scheme involving high-cost prescription drugs, netting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

David Copeland and Erin Kelly Copeland were taken into custody on May 13 on charges of racketeering, insurance fraud and patient brokering.  They are now free on pretrial release.

In court documents, investigators allege the two enlisted dozens of state of Florida employees to obtain unnecessary high-cost prescription drugs from various pharmacies, then collected commissions on the sale of the drugs and paid money back to those who ordered them. This practice is known as patient brokering.

Investigators say the two carried out their fraud between Feb. 2016 and April 2019, billing the state of Florida and its employee healthcare insurance providers for more than $350,000.

Last year, David Copeland was indicted along with three other men on federal charges for a similar compound pharmacy kickback scheme operating from 2012 through 2015.

The four were accused of ripping off TRICARE, the federal health care benefit program, for more than $41 million through a pharmacy operated by one of them. They were accused of recruiting people to submit claims for expensive prescription compounded drugs, then offering bribes and kickbacks.

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