Houston pharmacy owner gets 5 years in chiropractor scheme

Monday , July 02, 2018 - 9:20 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Houston pharmacist must serve five years in federal prison and repay $5.3 million in a health care kickbacks scheme linked to a chiropractor.

Nermin Awad El-Hadik, of Hope Pharmacy Inc., was sentenced Friday in Austin. She pleaded guilty in 2016 to willful offer and payment of illegal remuneration in a federal health care program.

Prosecutors say El-Hadik paid kickbacks to chiropractor Garry Wayne Craighead for workers’ compensation referrals. Craighead had clinics in Dallas, Fort Worth, Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Weslaco and Beaumont and mainly treated U.S. Postal Service workers.

Records show Craighead in 2015 pleaded guilty to counts including solicitation and receipt of illegal remunerations in federal health programs. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to repay the government nearly $18 million.

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