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Sunshine Pharmacy owner sentenced to prison

FORT MYERS, FL - A former pharmacy owner in Collier County was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for defrauding the Medicare system with the help of his mother.

Delmer Parrish, 44, will also have to permanently relinquish his license as a pharmacist as part of the plea deal he and his mother, 74-year-old Patricia Parrish, took in the case involving their Sunshine Pharmacy locations.

He'll serve two years of probation after his release.

Patricia Parrish was given three years probation, 120 days of that in home confinement, and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

The duo already paid back $351,358.14, which the government said was the amount they were able to pocket from the scam.

Investigators say the Parrishes submitted false claims for reimbursement for Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE for phony prescriptions, which were either not filled or were never written in the first place.

They even submitted reimbursement requests for patients without their knowledge, including, in some cases, for people who were dead.

Judge John Steele handed down the sentences. Delmer Parrish was also trying to get off with just probation, citing drug and alcohol problems as the reason he stole the money.

But Steele didn't agree, noting that such issues were not " excuse to steal $351,000 and expect to walk out the door."

Delmer Parrish Must report to prison by May 16th.

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