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The owners of five pharmacies in New York City have pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid of millions of dollars by submitting bills for drugs that they never dispensed to their patients.

The pharmacy owners and corporations they controlled pleaded guilty to stealing a total of $9.9 million from Medicaid.

The government developed evidence of the pharmacy fraud by conducting an audit comparing the amount of drugs each pharmacy legally purchased against the total amount Medicaid paid each pharmacy.  Auditors from the New York State Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) determined that the pharmacies had not purchased enough inventory to fill all of the prescriptions billed to and paid by Medicaid.

Each of the defendants admitted in court that they used their positions in the pharmacies to steal from the Medicaid system by billing or having pharmacy employees bill Medicaid for drugs that they never dispensed to their patients.

The defendants reached plea agreements that will result in widely varying sentences – from up to three years in prison plus $7.7 million in restitution for the worst offender, to a conditional discharge and 300 hours of community service plus restitution of $160,000.

Sanjay K. Patel and corporations he controlled were accused of stealing the most money from Medicaid -- $7.7 million.  He was sentenced to a term of one to three years in a state prison.  In addition, Mr. Patel has already paid Medicaid approximately $3 million and he has agreed to pay another $4.7 million in restitution to New York State.

Divy Dixit, a part owner and supervising pharmacist of Akshar Pharmacy in the Bronx, was charged with stealing more than one million dollars from Medicaid.  He pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny and will be sentenced to five years probation and 300 hours of community service.  He must pay the Medicaid program full restitution of $1,041,491.77 plus interest before he is sentenced.   

Sanjay R. Patel, a part owner and supervising pharmacist of Nayosha Pharmacy in the Bronx was charged with stealing more than one million dollars from Medicaid.  He pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny and will be sentenced to six months home confinement and five years probation.  He must pay the Medicaid program full restitution of $1,266,483.59 plus interest before he is sentenced.

Alpesh Patel, a part owner and supervising pharmacist of Yogi Pharmacy in the Bronx, was charged with stealing more than $250,000 from Medicaid.  He pleaded guilty to Petit Larceny and will be sentenced to a conditional discharge and 300 hours of community service.  He must pay the Medicaid program full restitution of $252,401.62 plus interest before he is sentenced.

Bharat Patel, the supervising pharmacist of Family Care Pharmacy in the Bronx, was charged with stealing more than $150,000 from Medicaid.  He pleaded guilty to Petit Larceny and was sentenced to a conditional discharge and 300 hours of community service after paying the Medicaid program full restitution of $158,385.38 plus interest.

If you are under investigation or accused of Medicare or Medicaid fraud, you should consult with an experienced Medicaid fraud attorney immediately.  An experienced trial lawyer can help you prepare your defense, negotiate with the government to help avoid or reduce the charges against you, move to dismiss the charges, fight the charges in court, and help you negotiate a resolution.

Do not delay.  How you respond to the investigation or charges at the early stages can make all the difference between a favorable resolution of your case or a stiff prison sentence.  To arrange a free and confidential consultation with an experienced healthcare fraud lawyer, call John Howley, Esq. at (917) 652-6504 or click here to reach our office via email.

John Howley, Esq.



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