Seven people have been charged in a Medicaid scheme that defrauded more than $5 million with pharmacists who allegedly paid for prescriptions and then bilked the government by billing for drugs that were never dispensed, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday.
Prosecutors have indicted three Brooklyn pharmacies, their owners, two pharmacists and two other men in connection with the massive fraud investigation. The companies, Perfect Gift Pharmacy at 397 Mother Gaston Blvd.; Princess RX at 2061 Atlantic Ave.; and Bright RX at 183 Buffalo Ave., were all charged with a series of felonies, including first-degree and second-degree grand larceny, as well as first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Their owners, Munir Khan, 61, Beenis Daha, 31, of Jersey City, and Muhammed Khan, also known as Sean Chris, 33, of Queens, face the same charges. Daha and Muhammed Khan have pleaded not guilty; Munir Khan is still being sought by authorities.
Investigators say Jose Cepeda, 66, of Brooklyn, was steering patients from a Brooklyn doctor’s office to the Perfect Gift Pharmacy, which also operated under the name Central Pharmacy. When the patients would arrive there, a pharmacy clerk, Chaudury Yaqoob, 56, allegedly gave them cash in exchange for their prescriptions, the attorney general charges. The pharmacy would then allegedly bill Medicaid for the medication that was never dispensed and then put the drugs back on the shelf, according to prosecutors.
Officials said Munir Khan owned and ran both the Perfect Gift and Princess pharmacies, but had been banned from the Medicaid program and deported to Pakistan after being convicted in 2008 on federal criminal charges. Investigators said Khan hid his involvement by claiming that two pharmacies were owned by his daughter Beenish Daha and a third – Bright RX – was owned by his son Muhammed Khan. Prosecutors allege that an audit revealed the three pharmacies billed a total of $5,341,032.92 for medications that were allegedly never sold.
Two pharmacists, Louis Pisani, 63, of Elmont, and Kenneth Brown, 64, of Brooklyn, were also charged along with Yaqoob and Cepeda. All four face fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing charges. The attorney general’s office says Yaqoob and Munir Khan have not yet been arrested and investigators believe they may have fled to Pakistan. Pisani and Brown have both pleaded not guilty.