Prison healthcare company agrees to $215,000 settlement relating to Controlled Substances Act claims
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Fred J. Federici has announced that Centurion Correctional Healthcare New Mexico has agreed to a $215,000 settlement relating to civil claims brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Centurion provides healthcare in prisons in several states. For each facility where Centurion provides healthcare, the DEA issues a registration authorizing Centurion to purchase and distribute controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
At issue in the civil claim was activity relating to Centurion’s registration for Northeast New Mexico Detention Facility (NENMDF), which expired on October 31, 2019. In its claim, the government contended that Centurion continued to acquire and dispense controlled substances after the expiration of the authorization granted through Centurion’s DEA registration at NENMDF. This activity allegedly continued through November 25, 2019, when another company assumed care for inmates at the facility.
The government also contended that Centurion abandoned its remaining stock of controlled substances and failed to maintain proper records for controlled substances in violation of the terms of the CSA.
By the terms of the settlement, Centurion agrees to pay $215,000 and the government, upon receipt of the settlement amount, releases Centurion from any civil or administrative monetary claim the United States has for the covered conduct under the CSA. Centurion admits no liability or wrongdoing.
“This settlement strengthens our enforcements efforts with regards to the Controlled Substances Act,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Federici. “The Office of the U.S. Attorney plays a vital role in upholding accountability among those authorized by the government to dispense controlled substances. Such authorization conveys a substantial level of trust, and that trust can only be maintained through strict compliance.”
“Everyone must do their part to ensure that prescription medications are not misused and abused,” said Kyle W. Williamson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division. “The law requires that registrants do so, and DEA will continue to scrutinize and investigate those entities that fail to comply with the rules set forth in the Controlled Substance Act.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth F. Keegan represented the United States in the settlement agreement.
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