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Document: Pharmacist linked to $717K prescription fraud

LILBURN - A Loganville pharmacist has admitted to bilking Georgia's Medicaid program of more than $717,000 by way of bogus prescriptions, according to documents filed in Gwinnett Superior Court this week.

Kanili Shoemaker is charged with filling unauthorized prescriptions for medicines used to treat cancer and HIV - and accepting $717,516 in Medicaid reimbursement for the drugs - while working as a pharmacist at a Publix on Stone Mountain Highway in Lilburn.

Shoemaker pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiracy to defraud state or political subdivision and false writing in Gwinnett Superior Court, according to an official accusation.

The transactions in question occurred in a six-month period between September 2005 and February 2006, the document says. Shoemaker allegedly worked with at least two co-conspirators to fill 135 fraudulent prescriptions in that time span, billing each to the state's Medicaid provider.

Drugs obtained illegally by Shoemaker and his associates include Sustiva, Norvir, Neupogen, Viramune and Truvada, the document says.

Shoemaker was booked in the Gwinnett County Jail on Tuesday. He posted $55,200 bond and was released hours later.

Repeated attempts to reach Shoemaker by phone were unsuccessful Friday. A representative at the Publix pharmacy said he's no longer employed there.

The case is being prosecuted by a special Medicaid fraud control unit within Georgia's Attorney General's Office. A representative, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said two alleged co-conspirators - Hezron Collie and Varian Scott - have also been indicted in the fraud case.

It's unclear if Shoemaker's pharmacist license has been suspended, she said.