DEARBORN, Mich. – A 23-year-old Dearborn woman is facing decades in prison for her role in a $65 million coupon scheme.
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Suzan Berro, 23, is accused of submitting fraudulent reimbursement claims to co-pay assistance programs of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Those manufacturers sponsored coupon programs to help patients with expensive name brand prescription drugs.
Berro was a biller for multiple pharmacies and participated in the scheme for nearly one year, according to authorities.
She would create fake prescriptions for made-up patients by taking addresses from real estate lists and making up names and birthdates, court records show. Then, she selected expensive name brands and paired them with the real names and credentials of doctors, officials said.
Berro would go to “great lengths” to make the patients seem real, according to authorities. She made sure the addresses of the real doctor, the fake pharmacy, and the made-up patient were close to each other in each instance, court records show.
Witness testimony revealed that the majority of the pharmacies Berro listed only existed on paper and never opened to the public or ordered inventory.
Berro and her co-conspirators submitted fraudulent claims on behalf of more than 40 pharmacies, officials said. They obtained more than $65 million through the scheme.
“This was a complicated scheme that abused dozens of programs established to help those who are legitimately unable to afford their medications,” United States Attorney Dawn Ison said. “Our office will continue to investigate and unravel these schemes, and will we vigorously pursue those who are responsible.”
Berro was convicted Friday (Jan. 13) by a federal jury on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The conviction came after a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 1.
Berro faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each count.