January 20, 2022

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Pharmacist and Two Pharmacies Agree to Pay $1 Million to Resolve Allegations of False Claims for Anti-Overdose Drug

6 min read
<div>Riad “Ray” Zahr, a pharmacist in Dearborn, Michigan, along with two specialty pharmacies that Zahr formerly owned and operated, have agreed to pay the United States $1 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims for the drug Evzio.</div>
Riad “Ray” Zahr, a pharmacist in Dearborn, Michigan, along with two specialty pharmacies that Zahr formerly owned and operated, have agreed to pay the United States $1 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims for the drug Evzio.

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However, due to insufficient participation by law enforcement agencies, the FBI has not met thresholds set by the Office of Management and Budget for publishing use of force data or continuing the effort past December 2022. Further, as of February 2021, the FBI had not assessed alternative data collection strategies. Assessing alternative data collection strategies would position the FBI to more quickly publish use of force data if the program is discontinued. In addition, stakeholders GAO interviewed identified some practices as promising or potentially promising in reducing the use of excessive force (see fig.). Figure: Practices Stakeholders Most Often Identified as Promising or Potentially Promising in Reducing Excessive Force DOJ does not have a specific grant program focused on reducing excessive force by law enforcement, but GAO identified six programs that awarded grants that covered practices that may reduce law enforcement's use of force. From fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2020, these six grant programs cumulatively provided $201.6 million for grant awards that included practices that may reduce law enforcement's excessive force. In addition to grants, DOJ components provided training and technical assistance related to practices that may reduce excessive force. For example, DOJ's Community-Oriented Policing Services provided online courses on practices that may reduce excessive force (see fig.). Figure: DOJ-Provided Online Training Courses Related to Practices That May Reduce Excessive Force Five components within DOJ have the authority to act upon allegations of civil rights violations by law enforcement, including those arising from excessive force. These components include: (1) the Special Litigation Section within DOJ's Civil Rights Division, (2) the Criminal Section within DOJ's Civil Rights Division, (3) DOJ's 94 U.S. Attorneys' Offices, (4) the Civil Rights Unit within the FBI, and (5) the Office for Civil Rights within the Office of Justice Programs. From fiscal year 2016 through fiscal year 2020, all five components opened investigations into civil rights violations. However, DOJ does not ensure that all allegations within its jurisdiction are shared across these components. In 2016, the Civil Rights Division and the Office for Civil Rights established a protocol, which directed the components periodically assess and, when appropriate, adopt available options for systematically sharing electronic information on misconduct allegations related to law enforcement agencies that may be receiving DOJ grants. 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GAO prepared this report under the authority of the Comptroller General in light of national and congressional interest in law enforcement's use of force. This report addresses (1) DOJ's collection and publication of data on use of force by law enforcement officers; (2) what is known about practices to reduce excessive force; (3) DOJ resources for such practices; and, (4) DOJ's investigations into allegations of excessive force by law enforcement. To conduct this audit, GAO reviewed DOJ data and documentation and interviewed DOJ officials. GAO also analyzed data on DOJ grants and investigations and cases related to civil rights violations. In addition, GAO reviewed academic literature and interviewed stakeholders from law enforcement associations, civil rights organizations, academic researchers, and federal government agencies.
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