The federal prosecution of Morristown pharmacist Gerald “Steve” LeMarr in a multi-million-dollar drug scheme will be transferred from Greeneville to Greenville, South Carolina, according to a Thursday court filing.
LeMarr has already filed a plea agreement in Tennessee indicating he will plead guilty conspiracy to commit health care fraud, along with paying, soliciting or receiving kickbacks.
He was scheduled to formally admit guilt in Tennessee next week, but now the two related cases will be adjudicated in South Carolina.
LeMarr compounded a purported pain and scar cream at his shuttered VitalMed Rx pharmacy in Morristown.
The cream was fraudulently marketed through a hormone-replacement clinic in South Carolina owned by his daughter, Christy LeMarr Oakes, and her husband, Kristopher M. Oakes, who also once lived in Morristown.
Christy LeMarr has already admitted guilt in the $8.54 million scheme.
Her father and husband have until July 22 to decide whether they want to plead guilty or take their chances at trial.
The marketing scheme at the Oakes’ clinic, Balanced Solutions, allegedly included misrepresentations and outright lies, according to the indictment.
While the cream recipients provided their health-insurance information, they were falsely told the creams were free. Staff who worked at Oakes’ direction said they didn’t have to be seen by a medical professional; that they didn’t have to make copayments; and that – somehow – receipt of the pain and scar creams “would count toward meeting any deductibles,” the indictment states.
A companion civil lawsuit alleges that 27 alleged victims paid between $1,000 and $10,000 for creams for which they had no medical need.