Pharmacist Robert Courtney diluted chemotherapy drugs.
Many criminals have been featured on American Greed, since the first show was telecast in 2007, but pharmacist Robert Courtney took greed to a whole new level.
Courtney diluted chemotherapy drugs, so he could make even more money, by selling them to doctors in watered down form. The American Greed narrator last night said that Courtney would buy chemotherapy drugs in powder form, for $500 for the medicine, and would then sell the drugs to doctors for $1,000. However, by diluting the drugs he was able to sell the doctors three diluted preparations for $3,000, which gave him a profit of $2,500, after he had originally spent $500 to buy the drugs.
The cancer patients were wondering why they weren’t having many side effects, from their chemotherapy medicine. It was because they were only receiving a third or even less, of their chemotherapy medicine. One man who didn’t experience the normal hair loss, after his chemotherapy sessions later would find out, that his cancer was spreading, to other parts of his body, because he hadn’t been given enough chemotherapy medicine.
Georgia Hayes, who was a victim of the watered down chemotherapy medicine sued Robert Courtney, because of his unethical behavior. She received a $2.2 billion judgement, but it is unlikely, that she actually received any money. However, she evidently never saw any money from the judgement. Her daughter appeared at the trial and said she wanted her mom to be there, when she graduated and was married, but her mom died before any of that happened.
Courtney was active in the Assembly of God Church in Kansas City and was a deacon and sang in the choir.
The diluted drugs were making Courtney a rich man and he had assets of $18.7 million. Investigators asked him why he did it, and he said he had promised the church $1 million, for a building project, but that made no sense, since he had 18 times that amount in his assets at the time.
These are the horrifying statistics from his criminal activity:
98,000 diluted prescriptions
72 different drugs were diluted
Courtney pled guilty to 20 counts of tampering and adulterating chemical therapy drugs.He was sentenced to 30 years in 2002 and will be released in 2032 at the age of 80 years old.
The sentence didn’t fit the crime, since no telling how many patients died, who were given less than the required amount of chemotherapy medicine.
There was very little remorse coming from Courtney, except when he mentioned one patient by name saying that was the only one, that really hurt him, since the guy was a nice guy.
Courtney was so absorbed in building his bank account, that he forgot or didn’t care about the patients, that were taking longer to recover from their chemotherapy, because he had diluted their drugs.
The FBI agents who investigated the criminal activity of Courtney were sometimes moved to tears, after talking to patients, who thought they were getting the required amount of chemotherapy medicine in their IV bags.
He should have been sentenced to life, since so many of the patients he affected died because of his negligence.
American Greed features criminals mostly who took the money of investors, but Courtney wasn’t taking the money of investors, but was risking the health of cancer patients, who had pinned their hopes of recovery, on their chemotherapy medicine, for his own financial gain.