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AmerisourceBergen Clipped by Report of Probe

The shares are down 12% on an investigation into a rebate scheme.
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Drug wholesaler

AmerisourceBergen

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reportedly is under federal investigation for a scheme in which it allegedly fleeced pharmaceutical companies out of multiple rebates by repeatedly selling the same drug.

The shares were getting hammered by the report, recently falling $6.92, or 12%, to $50 in Instinet premarket trading.

A former AmerisourceBergen sales manager pleaded guilty to mail fraud in federal court in California and is cooperating with authorities in the investigation, a person familiar with the case told

The Wall Street Journal

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.

According to the newspaper, the plot involved selling drugs to hospital suppliers and collecting an initial rebate, then buying the drugs back at discounted prices and cycling them back into the system to collect additional rebates from the manufacturers. The investigation has been going on for several years, the

Journal

said.

Michael Kilpatric, an AmerisourceBergen spokesman, said: "Back at that time, we did cooperate with the government; it's always our practice to do that. We have not had contact for two years with the government."

"This case involves us selling product to a normal customer who may have been diverting. It does not involve us buying from the gray market," he added.

The probe by the Food and Drug Administration and FBI is weighing allegations of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, the newspaper reported.