You are reading

Forest Hills Pharmacy Owners Charged With Scamming More Than $30 Million From Medicare

Photo: Unsplash

Dec. 22, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Two Queens pharmacy owners were busted by the feds Monday for ripping off the Medicare system to the tune of $30 million.

Peter Khaim and Arkadiy Khaimov were indicted in Brooklyn federal court yesterday for allegedly making more than $30 million worth of fraudulent claims for cancer drugs that were never prescribed by doctors, according to authorities.

The pair, who are both from Forest Hills, took advantage of eased drug prescription authorization rules during the pandemic to submit the claims. They then laundered their ill-gotten gains through several fake pharmacies and then bought real estate and luxury items, according to the indictment.

Khaim, 40, and Khaimov, 37, have both been charged with health care fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Khaim was also separately charged with aggravated identity theft.

Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme said that the defendants enriched themselves at the expense of taxpayer-funded health care programs.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants manipulated information in over a dozen pharmacies to defraud the Medicare program, including by taking advantage of systems that were intended to assist patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” DuCharme said.

“[They] then went to great lengths to hide their ill-gotten gains through a network of sham companies,” DuCharme added.

Khaim and Khaimov used COVID-19 emergency override billing codes to submit fake claims to Medicare for the cancer drug Targretin Gel. The drug sells for around $34,000 at wholesale prices for each 60-gram tube, prosecutors said.

Khaim and Khaimov created sham pharmacy companies – named after pre-existing pharmacy wholesalers – and fabricated invoices for the drugs.

They then allegedly conspired with an unnamed international money launderer who arranged for their fraudulent funds to be wired to companies in China and distributed to people in Uzbekistan, according to authorities. They also got accomplices to transfer money to them through the fake companies.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said that Khaim and Khaimov used the pandemic as cover to take advantage of changes in the Medicare system.

“The changes to this program, funded by taxpayers, were put in place to help fellow citizens obtain needed medications during the pandemic, not line the pockets of fraudsters,” Sweeney said

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Queens father, son charged with possessing cache of loaded ghost gun assault weapons in Fresh Meadows home: DA

A Fresh Meadows father and son are criminally charged with possessing an arsenal of loaded ghost gun assault weapons that were found after a court-authorized search was executed at their home on Wednesday.

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and his father, Jin-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street, were arraigned late Wednesday night on a 130-count indictment charging them with 97 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a slew of other charges after the raid uncovered the assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.