Rite Aid Gets Non Prosecution Agreement to Pay $4 Million To Settle Criminal Probe

Federal prosecutors have entered into a non prosecution agreement with Rite Aid Corporation to resolve a criminal investigation into Rite Aid’s improper sale of the methamphetamine precursor pseudoephedrine.

Michael Stuart
US Attorney
Charleston, West Virginia

Rite Aid will pay $4 million to settle the criminal case.

Rite Aid was represented by Eric Sitarchuk and Kelly Moore of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

The case was brought in Charleston, West Virginia by U.S. Attorney Michael Stuart, the former chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for President in West Virginia.

Kelly Moore
Morgan Lewis & Bockius
New York, New York

Federal officials alleged that from 2009 to 2012, Rite Aid sold over 850,000 grams of pseudoephedrine for over $5 million in West Virginia.

“Rite Aid did not train its employees on how to deny sales of pseudoephedrine to suspicious people,” federal officials alleged. “Rite Aid did not affirmatively train or instruct its West Virginia employees that they were required to deny a sale of pseudoephedrine if the employee suspected the sale was not for a legitimate medical reason” – namely – to make methamphetamine.

“As a result, some Rite Aid employees . . .believed that they were permitted to deny sales of pseudoephedrine to individuals only if the sale would cause the individual to exceed pseudoephedrine purchase limit amounts.”

Eric Sitarchuk
Morgan Lewis & Bockius
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Since it was a criminal investigation, why no criminal charge?

Stuart said that first, Rite Aid “accepted responsibility for the improper manner” it sold  pseudoephedrine and cooperated with the investigation.

Second, Rite Aid instituted remedial efforts in its training, policies and procedures for selling pseudoephedrine.

For example, in November 2013, Rite Aid removed single ingredient pseudoephedrine products from its stores, and now it only sells tamper resistant single ingredient pseudoephedrine in West Virginia.

Also, Rite Aid now trains its employees to identify customers that may be purchasing pseudoephedrine for the manufacture of methamphetamine, and will train and instruct its employees to deny such sales.

And third, Rite Aid agreed to pay the $4 million penalty.

The $4 million dollar payment will stay in West Virginia, Stuart said.

Rite Aid must pay $2.6 million to the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

The settlement also requires Rite Aid to pay $1.4 million to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

As a condition of his agreement to this settlement, Stuart required the agreement of the Department of Health and Human Services to use this funding for substance abuse treatment to help fight addiction.

“This funding will provide increased resources for two critical areas – compensating crime victims and drug treatment,” Stuart said. “Rest assured that my office will keep fighting to ensure that anyone responsible for the drug scourge in our state is held responsible, from the suppliers to the pharmacies to the street dealers poisoning our communities.”

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