BALTIMORE, MD (August 3, 2018) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today announced that Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Michael Wachs sentenced Dr. Kofi Shaw-Taylor to two, five-year concurrent sentences after pleading guilty to a charge of Medicaid fraud and another for conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud. Judge Wachs also ordered $118,077 in restitution to the Maryland Medicaid Program and the forfeiture of certain seized assets for Shaw-Taylor’s role in a scheme to operate two pill mills in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County. Shaw Taylor’s sentencing brings to a close a multi-jurisdiction, multi-agency investigation of illegal opioid distribution that resulted in the conviction of 10 defendants.
“Maryland is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with lives being lost every day,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Dr. Shaw-Taylor defrauded the state and helped spread the disease of addiction. Today, with our federal and state partners, we shut him down and will continue to prosecute others who choose to operate as drug dealers masquerading as legitimate health practitioners.”
According to evidence, Shaw-Taylor owned and/or operated two clinics that operated as pill mills, where, in exchange for cash, patients received unlawful prescriptions for large quantities of narcotics, including oxycodone, morphine, tramadol, and benzodiazepine. Shaw-Taylor was indicted in August 2017 along with nine other individuals for their role in the scheme. Eight of Shaw-Taylor’s co-defendants pleaded guilty for participating in the pill mill scheme. Tormarco Harris, owner of the two clinics, was sentenced in June to the maximum 20 years incarceration under Maryland’s Drug Kingpin statute.
“Today’s sentencing sends a clear message that health care fraud and diversion of these too often deadly drugs will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon, Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect taxpayer funds and keep the public safe from these poisonous drugs.”
“This investigation and successful prosecution shows that DEA and our local partners are committed to stopping the scourge of illegal opioid drug distribution, whether it is on the streets, or in the doctor’s office,” stated Don Hibbert, Assistant Special Agent in Charge,Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office.
Attorney General Frosh thanked the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, particularly Assistant Attorneys General Marilee Miller and Brian Marsh, for their work on the case. Attorney General Frosh also thanked the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, particularly Special Agent E. Troy Yeager, who led the investigation of the case. Attorney General Frosh also thanked the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Howard County Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, and Baltimore City Police Department for their assistance.