At least 350 more Missouri patients have reportedly been scammed by fake physician certifications for the state’s medical cannabis program, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The number of total affected patients is about 1,000 after Department of Health Officials announced last month that 600 patients were victims of the fraud.
All of the patients believed they were talking to a real physician when completing the program paperwork required by the state; however, the person on the other end of the phone wasn’t the doctor listed on their certification paperwork and may not have been a doctor at all. Health officials believe that all of the affected patients completed the approval process through WeedCerts. According to the report, the company was offering medical cannabis certifications for $50; they usually run $150-$200.
In a July 23 Facebook post, the company said it had been able to fix about 280 of the “fraudulent certifications” and is working with another clinic to get affected patients recertified at no cost. The company said it has also issued some refunds.
The first 600 applications found to be fraudulent listed the information of Dr. Allison Medlin of Independence who denied that she had anything to do with the scheme. She said in a statement to the Post-Dispatch that she was “extremely disappointed that any company or individual would fraudulently use [her] signature.”
In a June 27 post, the company said it “thought” it was working with Medlin but “that was not the case.”
On June 22 post, WeedCerts Head of Marketing Lou Moynihan said the company “is not going to survive” the scandal but argued that “not one single employee, manager or owner, past or present, ever did anything malicious, fraudulent, or with ill intent.”
Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Senior Services, said at least one other physician’s signature was fraudulently used in the scheme and that the agency has conducted random checks of the state’s 55,000-plus certifications to make sure they were legitimate.
Affected patients have 30 days to recertify for the program.
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