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.