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Pharmacist Sentenced for Illegally Distributing Oxycodone

FEB 05 (TAMPA, Fla.) – United States District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington yesterday sentenced Ihab "Steve" Barsoum (42, Lutz) to 17 years in federal prison for illegally distributing Oxycodone.   On August 21, 2012, a federal jury found Barsoum guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, and five counts of distributing Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice.  In addition, Barsoum’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number, his Florida pharmacy license, $40,000 in cash, and two BMWs were also forfeited.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Barsoum was involved in a conspiracy, from at least 2007, where he dispensed hundreds of Oxycodone pills.  The pills were dispensed to customers passing fraudulent prescriptions and sometimes to customers who had no prescriptions at all.  Customers came to his pharmacy several times a week, did not show Barsoum any identification, and presented him with prescriptions in various different names at one time.

Starting in 2011, Barsoum sold thousands of pills to a confidential source working with the DEA.  Barsoum instructed the confidential source on how to write the medical information on prescriptions that Barsoum knew were fraudulent.  He also provided the confidential source with the name and DEA registration number of a real doctor to use for the fraudulent prescriptions.  Evidence showed that Barsoum fraudulently documented his files to represent that he had verified, with that same doctor, that the prescriptions were valid and the medication could be dispensed.

In all, Barsoum is responsible for distributing more than 50,000 Oxycodone pills without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

This case was investigated by the DEA Tampa District Office, Tactical Diversion Squad.

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