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

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Porn actor Ron Jeremy, who grew up in Bayside, found unable to stand trial for rape

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday, Jan. 17, declared that porn performer Ron Jeremy is mentally incompetent to stand trial on dozens of rape and sexual assault counts.

Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Harris said in a hearing that after reviewing reports from both prosecutors and Jeremy’s defense that he is in “incurable neurocognitive decline” from which he is unlikely to recover.