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MIAMI (AP) — Nine people are headed to federal prison after pleading guilty to a South Florida-based, $172 million scheme involving fraudulent medications.

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Federal prosecutors said Friday that prison sentences ranging from 15 years to two years were imposed. The defendants were also ordered to forfeit about $30 million in ill-gotten gains.

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Authorities say the scheme involved preparation of medications in bulk quantities that were supposedly for specific patient needs. The scammers told health insurance providers falsely that the medicine was prepared in limited quantities and exempt from Food and Drug Administration inspection.

The health insurance providers paid for the costs of the ingredients for the medicines. The scheme also involved paying kickbacks to doctors, mass call centers to solicit patients and other fraud techniques.
Seven more defendants will plead guilty later.

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