September 11, 2013
FRANKFORT - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, along with David Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, announced on Friday that the owner of Bluegrass Women’s Healthcare, located in Elizabethtown, pleaded guilty to misbranding non-FDA approved forms of birth control.
Dr. Canh Jeff Vo, 45, entered the plea in United States District Court. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office and is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Dr. Vo, of Louisville, was the owner, supervising physician and president at Bluegrass Women’s Healthcare between March 2008 and September 2009 when the violations occurred. Dr. Vo offered gynecological and obstetric services to women at Bluegrass Women’s Healthcare, including providing forms of birth control. During that time, Vo purchased and inserted foreign, non-FDA approved devices into patients, according to the plea agreement. These intrauterine devices, or IUDs, were misbranded in that their labeling was not in the English language and their labeling did not bear adequate directions for use.
“I am pleased that Dr. Vo has decided to take responsibility for deceiving patients by pleading guilty in this case, and I am proud that my Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were able to work together to reach this resolution,” Attorney General Jack Conway said. “Let the outcome of this case send a message that this type of disreputable behavior will not be tolerated in medical facilities across our Commonwealth.”
Additionally, Dr. Vo’s corporation pleaded guilty to smuggling. Between March 2008 and September 2009, Bluegrass Women’s Healthcare received, brought and imported IUDs into the United States, knowing they were misbranded and unlawfully introduced into interstate commerce from various countries, including Canada. As president of Bluegrass Women’s Healthcare, Dr. Vo pleaded guilty on behalf of the corporation to the felony charge of smuggling and agreed to pay a $25,000 fine. He also agreed to pay jointly and severally with Bluegrass Women’s Healthcare, restitution to victims in the amount of $50,663.31.
Dr. Vo’s charge of misbranding is a misdemeanor. If convicted at trial, Dr. Vo faced a maximum of one year in prison, a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year of supervised release. The corporation faced a maximum $500,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.