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Charges waived to court in insurance fraud case

| Friday, Nov. 21, 2008

Two owners of Connellsville's Burns Drug Store -- a former employee and Burns Wholesale Drug Corp. charged with insurance fraud brought by the state Office of the Attorney General -- have waived their rights to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Ronald Haggerty.

The hearings were set to take place today.

Brothers Louis David Stern, 60, and Jay Steven Stern of Connellsville are charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count each of theft by deception, criminal conspiracy and tampering with public records or information.

Also named as a defendant is Burns Wholesale Drug Corp., 131 W. Crawford Ave., Connellsville, as well as former Burns pharmacist Chris Michael Ruby.

Ruby, 34, of 148 Tollhouse Road, Greensburg is charged with three counts of insurance fraud and a count each of Medicaid fraud, theft by deception, criminal conspiracy and tampering with public records or information. He additionally is accused of violating the state's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

The charges against the defendants stem from an alleged scheme operated between June 26, 2003, and Aug. 10, 2006, in which about 1,700 fraudulent prescriptions written in names of Stern family members and Ruby were billed to insurance companies.

Investigators checked with the doctors whose names allegedly were forged on some of the Stern family and Ruby prescriptions and many of them had no records of treating them, according to court papers. Some of the doctors treated Stern family members and Ruby but never prescribed many of the listed medications.

According to records, fraudulent prescriptions were billed for the Stern family before, during and after Ruby's employment at Burns.

The three men are free on $50,000 bond.

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