May 23, 2014

Arrest affidavits: UT Arlington professor transferred cash to Nigeria from pharmacy acting as “pill hub”

Eronini Megwa, is an associate professor of communications at UTA.

Denton police have turned over arrest affidavits for a UT Arlington associate professor jailed last week in connection with money laundering over $200,000 from a pharmacy acting as a “

UT Arlington suspended Eronini Megwa,59, with pay Friday after his arrest last week along with his wife, Susan Megwa, 50, after a two-year investigation of Megs Pharmacy in Denton. Megwa’s wife owns the pharmacy and he was listed as an officer.

Eronini Megwa has taught in the communications department at UT Arlington since 2008. The associate professor taught classes in mass communication, public relations, journalism, and intercultural and international communication, according to a university profile.

He and his wife late last week.

Eronini Megwa was arrested last Tuesday on a charge of money laundering over $200,000, according to police.

Susan Megwa was arrested on three counts of diversion of controlled substances and one count of laundering over $200,000.

According to arrest affidavits for the Megwa’s, investigators were tipped off that the pharmacy was acting as a “pill mill” a few years back when its name continued to pop up during prescription fraud arrests.

Rachel Fleming searched through the Megwa’s trash at their Southlake home and found both Eronini and his wife were on the payroll at Meg’s Pharmacy.

He received $875 every two weeks, .

Records show that the pharmacy account paid for UT Arlington Admissions, SAT test fees and other costs not associated with pharmacy business.

“As of this afternoon, Dr. Megwa has been suspended from his position at UT Arlington with pay, pending the outcome of a university investigation into the criminal allegations he is facing,” UT Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said Friday.

“Dr. Megwa is not scheduled to teach this summer but had been scheduled to teach during the fall 2014,” she said.

Investigators said Susan Megwa was writing faulty prescriptions for patients traveling outside the Metroplex, and even ones for herself for hydrocodone.

According to arrest affidavtits, Susan Megwa‘s pharmacy ordered high amounts of hydrocodone, oxycontin, oxycodone, adderall, amphetamine salts, butrans, morphine sulfate and methadone.

Fleming searched the dumpster outside the pharmacy in May and found pharmacy labels and receipts. But among the routine labels were ones that “appeared to be printed on plain paper so the paharmacy name would not appear.”

According to the affidavits this is a method that can be used for sell pills “out the back door.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Texas State Board told police that “the quantities of controlled substances being ordered were higher than most chain pharmacies that are open 24 hours.”

The report also states that husband and wife spent cash on shopping trips, hair, and cash transferred to Nigeria.

Wire transfers made to Nigeria totaling $223,000 were also made from a Meg’s Discount Pharmacy account with JPMorgan Chase between November 2011 and December 2012.

“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” Grelle said.

Each count is listed as a felony.

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