Kentwood Pharmacy VP pleads to fraud, child porn


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The former vice president of Kentwood Pharmacy has agreed to plead guilty — not only to the $60 million scheme involving illegally recycled drugs, but also to using those drugs in the production of child pornography.

Richard Clarke, who was director of sales for the now-defunct pharmacy, admitted he provided some of the illegal drugs to a 16-year-old before taking pornographic images of the teen, according to a plea deal signed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Thursday.

Federal agents found those images on his computer in Osceola County. They say the pictures had been on his computer since August 2009.

Clarke is among 17 pharmacy employees and officials — from packagers to pharmacists to the CEO — indicted in the pill-recycling case.

The indictments followed a November 2010 raid of the company’s headquarters and other offices.

So far, 13 of the people involved have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty. Among those who haven’t: CEO Kim Mulder.

The feds say Mulder conspired with Clarke and chief pharmacist Lawrence Harden to return, restock and re-dispense drugs that had been previously provided to nursing homes and adult foster care homes.

In doing so, the feds alleged, Kentwood Pharmacy defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for up to $60 million.

Harden has already pleaded guilty. He is set to face sentencing on Oct. 14.

As for Clarke, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and a count of possession of child porn.

“The defendant admits that he provided controlled substances to the individual depicted in these images of child pornography,” according to the plea deal. “The defendant obtained the controlled substances from the returned controlled substances that (Kentwood Pharmacy) had illegally obtained from the homes.”

Clarke could face up to 10 years in prison on the fraud charge and 10 years for child porn. He has also agreed to cooperate with federal agents.

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