Amateur DA Charges Pharmacist With Stealing From Own Company
by Vladimire Herard
A recently appointed African-American District Attorney fresh from law school is charging an embattled pharmacist with burglarizing her own pharmacy.
Joel Everette Ritchie, who was recently appointed assistant prosecuting attorney in Kansas City, Mo. under Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, graduated with his law degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia this past year.
An Internet search of his professional background turns up only a Linkedln profile of him connected to his alma mater and little else.
Yet, having just left law school, Ritchie is taking on one of the most complex cases in the state as among his first.
In this case, he is charging nuclear pharmacist Felicia Eddings, with stealing from BrinkHealthmeds LLC, a Kansas City local pharmacy she co-owned with pharmacists Raj B. Jhala and Amr Abualnadi.
Jhala and Abualnadi hired Eddings in late April 2018, fired her seven weeks later after she completed most of the legwork of launching the pharmacy, accused her of stealing from the pharmacy shortly afterward and filed the original police complaint against her in December 2018.
As part of their plan, the pair later collected a fraudulent $22,000 insurance claim based on their accusations against Eddings and had their case against her thrown out in a district court because the presiding judge found them to have lied.
Eddings retained a criminal attorney Henry Service and, through him, warned Jhala and Abualnadi through a series of messages that their actions were illegal.
The pharmacists’ next move was to have their accountant Laphilia Nicole Davis of Butler Davis Accounting, forge Eddings’ signature to dissolve Brink Healthmeds, and open another company called Trilogy Healthmeds DBA Capstone Pharmacy.
Still, on Jan. 28, 2019, Ritchie sent a letter from the Jackson County Prosecutor/District Attorney’s office, informing Eddings that she was under investigation for the class C felony of stealing, the class D felony of burglary in the second degree and the class E felony of property damage.
The letter stated that Eddings had until Feb. 8, 2019 to get her attorney to contact the office or else she would be charged with the three felony crimes.
In response to Ritchie’s letter, three days later, she wrote back to Ritchie, fingering the District Attorney’s office for discrimination and allowing her former employers to walk free from crimes of forgery, framing, perjury, lying to police and falsifying a police report, conspiracy, insurance fraud and cybercrimes.
As of August 2019, attempts to reach Ritchie by email and by phone to explain the District Attorney’s office stance on the case have failed. As of yet, the District Attorney’s office has not announced that it will drop the burglary charges against Eddings.
Meanwhile, Eddings indicated that the inertia on the part of the District Attorney’s office has begun to strain her livelihood as a pharmacist and other work efforts, professional relations and family and social life.