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Omnicare: US Criminal Probe Of Co Tied To DEA Audit

By Dinah Wisenberg Brin Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation of Omnicare Inc. (OCR) and several current and former employees in connection with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration audits of controlled-substance dispensing paperwork, the nursing-home pharmacy disclosed Thursday. The DEA is investigating "alleged errors and deficiencies in paperwork requirements for controlled substance dispensing at several of the company's pharmacies in Ohio," the company said in its third-quarter financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio is conducting a probe relating to the matter and may seek monetary penalties, Omnicare said. The same U.S. Attorney's office "is also conducting a criminal investigation of the company and several current and former employees in connection with the DEA audits," the Covington, Ky., company said. "The company is cooperating with these investigations and intends to vigorously defend itself if these matters are pursued." Controlled substances are tightly regulated or illegal drugs, some of which may be prescribed by a physician legitimately. Spokesmen for Omnicare and the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland weren't immediately available for comment. Omnicare shares recently traded up 5.6% at $24.04. While the company swung to a third-quarter loss, earnings per share from continuing operations exceed Wall Street expectations. By Dinah Wisenberg Brin, Dow Jones Newswires, 215-656-8285; [email protected]

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