If you frequent this website, you know that there are some pretty shameless fraud schemes out there. But of all the heartless schemes, profiting off cancer patients has got to be one of the very lowest. Today’s fraudster funded his life of luxury with a multimillion-dollar Medicaid fraud scheme that centered on illegal kickbacks and the falsified dispensation of expensive cancer medications. For his role in the fraud scheme, he now owes the government over $3 million and is required to perform 200 hours of community service. (Doing some beneficial work for his community, for a change.)
Our fraudster today is a Brooklyn, New York-area pharmacist who began his corrupt scheme in 2012. He claimed his business had dispensed expensive cancer medications to patients that it did not even have in stock. The investigation determined that the pharmacy had never purchased sufficient amounts of medication from licensed wholesalers that would have matched the egregious amount that the pharmacy billed to Medicaid. The fraudster also engaged in an illegal kickback scheme, plying a Nassau University Medical Center employee to steer positive cancer prescriptions from NUMC to the pharmacy. In return for these illegal kickbacks, the fraudster paid the employee off with monthly cash referral fees, sports tickets, an iPad, and numerous free meals. (I wonder if the fraudster was also trying to stock up on Cash Back points.)
The fraud-happy pharmacist then used his ill-gotten gains to fund a lavish life of luxury. He put the funds stolen from Medicaid into shell companies, which he then used to pay for travel expenses, expensive cars, memberships to a country club and a real estate endeavor. Together with partners, he pooled more than $2.3 million to invest in a newly constructed Brooklyn condo complex, with individual condos listed for as much as $1.75 million apiece. (I think the real crime here might be New York real estate prices.)
Thanks to a successful investigation, our fraudster was caught and is now on the hook for $1.5 million in restitution for stolen Medicaid funds and another $1.5 million in financial penalties. He will also have to perform 200 hours of community service. (Maybe he can still enjoy the sight of fancy cars while he picks up trash on the side of a highway?) He pleaded guilty to two felonies – second-degree healthcare fraud and violating the social services law prohibiting Medicaid kickbacks.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Lynbrook pharmacy owner pleads guilty to defrauding Medicaid out of $1.5 million,” posted on LIHerald.com on June 8, 2018.
A Lynbrook pharmacy owner entered felony guilty pleas in Queens County Supreme Court on Friday, admitting to defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of $1.5 million and participating in a kickback scheme with a former employee of Nassau University Medical Center.
Arkady Goldin, 40, of Brooklyn, owns Value Pharmacy Inc., which recently moved from Corona, Queens to 257 Broadway, in Lynbrook. He will be sentenced to six months incarceration and five years’ probation, and he and his partners will have to pay $1.5 million in restitution for money stolen from Medicaid. The defendants will also pay an additional $1.5 million in financial penalties, including a $10,000 fine that must be paid by the corporation. In addition, Goldin is required perform 200 hours of community service.