In Austin today, Nermin Awad El-Hadik, 42-year-old owner of Hope Pharmacy, Inc., in Houston, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for paying kickbacks in a health care fraud scheme.

That announcement was made by United States Attorney John F. Bash; Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cave, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG), Southern Area Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Steven Grell, Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL OIG), Dallas Region; and, Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), San Antonio Division.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Sam Sparks ordered that the defendant pay $5,334,303.04 restitution to the DOL and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing her prison term.

“The sentence imposed today should send a clear message that these crimes will not be tolerated,” said USPS OIG Special Agent in Charge Cave. “The USPS Office of Inspector General, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively pursue these investigations in order to ensure the protection of the Postal Service and federal benefits programs.”

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