NAPLES — A Sunshine Pharmacy in East Naples remained closed Friday, a day after federal authorities raided it for suspicion of Medicare fraud.
However, Sunshine pharmacies were open at 6350 Davis Blvd. in East Naples and 421 U.S. 41 N. in Naples. Employees at both of those locations declined to comment about events at the 5482 Rattlesnake-Hammock Road pharmacy in East Naples.
Federal agents Thursday served a search warrant at the Rattlesnake-Hammock location and company headquarters, carting off boxes of documents and computers in a U-Haul truck. An investigation is under way by the U.S. Office of Inspector General on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Sunshine owner Del Parrish, 43, and his mother, Patricia Parrish, 73, are being investigated for engaging in a scheme to defraud Medicare Part D beneficiaries by submitting claims after the beneficiaries have died, according to an Oct. 17 letter that a federal official with Medicare Program Integrity sent to Medicare Part D sponsors. The Daily News obtained the letter.
The alleged scheme also involved submitting claims to Medicaid and Tricare, the insurance for military members, and other illegal narcotic related activities, the letter said.
Also on Thursday, Adam Parrish, 33, the brother of Del Parrish, was arrested in the parking lot of the Rattlesnake-Hammock store and accused of driving his 2010 Toyota Corolla with an expired tag that belonged to a Ford truck owned by Sunshine, according to his arrest report.
Records with the state Department of Health show Del Parrish's license as a pharmacist is clear and active. The health department said it cannot comment if it is conducting an investigation, DOH spokeswoman Ashley Carr said in an email.
When asked what customers of the closed pharmacy should do about getting their prescriptions, Carr said they need to contact their physicians.
"When a pharmacy closes permanently or relocates, there are rules associated with patient records," she said. "For patients, I would suggest contacting their physician directly."
Del Parrish opened his first pharmacy at the Rattlesnake-Hammock location in 1999 and grew his independent pharmacy business with several more store locations. He stayed competitive against chain pharmacies by doing compounding for medications that aren't available commercially and by leasing durable medical equipment. In recent years, Sunshine locations in Golden Gate and on Livingston Road have closed.
John Atkinson, owner of the Gulf Shore Apothecary Pharmacy, also an independent pharmacy, said the recent events at Sunshine are hard for independent operators.
"From a business standpoint, it is a terrible black eye for independent pharmacies," he said.