Former Camilla pharmacist's appeal denied

CAMILLA, Ga. -- A federal appellate court has denied a former pharmacist's appeal for a re-trial, likely resulting in his serving time in a federal prison.

J. Harris Morgan of Camilla was convicted in December 2011 of bilking millions from Medicaid through overbillings and sometimes fraudulent billings for a drug meant for poor children with respiratory problems.

Morgan has not served the 30-month prison sentence he received. A court order allowed him to remain free until the court was satisfied that unspecified health conditions had been resolved.

While free, Morgan appealed his conviction, asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to authorize a retrial. On Jan. 30, the court upheld the conviction and denied his request.

It's unclear when Morgan will have to report to federal prison. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons website states that he is "in transit," and a spokesperson for the organization would not comment further.

Morgan, who was a prominent public figure in Mitchell County and who was involved in economic development and charitable matters, voluntarily surrendered his license to be a pharmacist to the state in May 2011.

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 well short of the six-year maximum sentence that was recommended by U.S. attorneys.


dickyboy 1 year, 10 months ago

OK fryar.... I know you been waiting on this.....


FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh no JD. You covered this from the beginning. Let's get history clear. Morgan was convicted of 69 counts in October, 2008. JD of AH 4/15/10: "Popular Mitchell County pharmacist J. Harris Morgan was tried and convicted in federal court Oct. 14-23, 2008. But more than a year and a half after a jury rendered its verdict, court records show that Morgan remains free, waiting on U.S. District Judge Louis Sands to make a determination on two motions related to the case filed during and after the trial." It took Sands 20 months to decide if the jury had enough evidence to convict the pharmacist of 69 of 70 counts of Medicaid fraud. He overbilled $2.8 million dollars. Obviously the jury could rationally consider evidence they threw out one of the charges. After overtures by Justice prosecutors Sands finally agreed to sentence him in December, 2010, but would not send Morgan to prison. The pharmacist got 30 months for stealing millions of dollars. These appellants are not released for appeals sitting behind the pipes while the paper moves. Justice said the man’s Thrift Pharmacy billed Medicaid $26 million dollars and $20 million dollars was for the one drug Synagis for which he was convicted. “Synagis is given to children with chronic respiratory ailments (AH)”
Keep in mind the felon was not released on appeal. ” . . 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. (AH)” Baloney. Morgan has been as active as ever in businesses that are healthcare related and omnipresent in Camilla. The Synagis was given to children with chronic respiratory ailments who were on Medicaid. This is your health care dollars at work, fellow taxpayers.


whattheheck 1 year, 10 months ago

The key to the chastity belt has been copied so many times that even a new lock can't shut off those looking for the shopworn golden apple. Let them rot in jail and enjoy the good free medical service we provide those with "poor health". After all the health issue, if true, will exist regardless of whether his head rests on a Tempurpedic at home or the cot in the cell. Lock him up!


chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

Most likely still doing it. If he was poor and black (I am white) he would be sitting in prison today. He should never ever be allowed to be a pharmacist in Georgia and ever practice again. There are laws for the rich and laws for the poor. We are not all created equal folks. Never have been.


fcarroll 1 year, 10 months ago

My son-in-law was given 10 yrs for supposedly receiving a piece of stolen property. He seved one yr and is on probation for the next 9 yrs. He is white. Color does not matter as long as you are a poor working joe. It is all about who you are, who you know and how much money you have as to whether or not .you have to pay for the crime. I knew Harris would never serve a day. He is not the first Camilla pharmacist to lose their license or illegal doing. Harris can always work under someone else's license as a tech.


FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

The more one contemplates the entire criminal activity, trial, sentencing and justice process of this case the more repulsive it becomes. A small town pharmacist billing $20 million dollars for one drug for Medicaid babies, convicted of 69 counts of Medicaid fraud four years ago and hasn't been imprisoned, it doesn't pass the smell test. It has to be on the radar screen somewhere in DOJ if for no other reason than curiosity.


PatrickMillsaps 1 year, 9 months ago

FryarTuk you are an absolute coward. Such brave words about something you know nothing about hiding behind an anonymous user name. Man up or shut up.


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