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NY pharmacy owner sentenced to prison time for health care fraud

New York State's Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced the arrest of a local pharmacy owner. The government has accused the pharmacy owner of defrauding millions from the New York State Medicaid program.

Government agencies list accusations

The agencies have accused the business owner of billing Medicaid for the distribution of cancer medications that were never given to patients. The government then states the pharmacy owner hid these funds in shell companies. The pharmacy owner was also allegedly part of a kickback scheme with a hospital employee. According to the government's allegations, the pharmacy owner would pay the employee a monthly referral fee in exchange for the employee "steer[ing] expensive cancer prescriptions" to the pharmacy owner's business.

The arrest was the result of the work of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Government builds a case, pharmacy owner agrees to a plea

The agency sought over $8.7 million damages and penalties through an asset forfeiture and civil recovery action. The agency also attempted to pursue grand larceny charges against the pharmacy owner. If successful, the charges would have resulted in up to twenty-five years imprisonment. Ultimately, the pharmacy owner chose to accept a plea deal. The deal will result in six months of prison time as well as an additional five years of probation. The agreement also requires the pharmacy owner to pay $1.5 million in restitution and an additional $1.5 million penalty.

Those facing similar accusations are wise to build a strong case to defend their professional reputation.

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