Pharmacist surrenders license, appeals conviction

CAMILLA, Ga. -- A popular Camilla pharmacist who was convicted in January of bilking millions from Medicaid has voluntarily surrendered his license to the state pharmacy board and is appealing his conviction, court documents show.

J. Harris Morgan Jr. was found guilty of health care fraud in December and sentenced to serve 30 months in federal prison and three under supervised release, as well as pay restitution.

But according to court documents, Judge Louis Sands agreed to delay Morgan's prison time until he was satisfied that Morgan's ongoing health problems had been addressed.

Since that time, Morgan has filed an appeal to the 11th Circuit Court and is asking to remain free on bond until the appeal is completed, a move the U.S. Attorney's Office is fighting.

On May 11, the state pharmacy board met and accepted the voluntary surrender of Morgan's license to dispense medicine, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

Morgan was convicted of overbilling Medicaid $2.8 million in payments for the respiratory drug Synagis, which is given to children with chronic respiratory ailments. While the 30-month sentence is more than Morgan's attorneys and friends had asked the court for, it was short of the six-year maximum recommended by the U.S. Attorney's office.