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Indian Health doctor pleads guilty to receiving kickbacks

Indian Health doctor pleads guilty to receiving kickbacks

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GREAT FALLS — A former Indian Health Services doctor who worked in Browning pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he received kickbacks for prescribing a costly diabetes medication that had to be filled at an outside pharmacy, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Arnold Scott Devous, 68, of Billings pleaded guilty to being a federal medical officer with a conflict of interest.

Devous received more than $45,500 in kickbacks from a pharmacy in Choteau that filled prescriptions for Farxiga, a medication used to control blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart failure, prosecutors said.

The medication costs several hundred dollars per month and was not included among the medications the Indian Health Services dispensed at its clinic. Devous received about 80% of the profits from the prescriptions, prosecutors said.

The kickbacks occurred over a six-month period ending in June 2016.

Devous faces a maximum of five years in prison when U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentences him on Dec. 10. He has been released pending sentencing.

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