NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced March 2 that two pharmacy owners and a supervising pharmacist have been sentenced for their alleged roles in defrauding several government-funded health care programs.
The defendants in the case are Tarek Elsayed, 50, of Elmhurst, Queens, co-owner of 184th Street Pharmacy in the Bronx, Ahmed Hamed, 39, of Elmhurst, the second co-owner of 184th Street Pharmacy, and Mohamed Hassan Ahmed, 38, of Bayside, Queens, the supervising pharmacist at 184th Street Pharmacy.
According to allegations, the defendants conducted a scheme in which they would pay patients in cash to forgo prescription medications, the majority of which were for HIV-treating products. The defendants would allegedly still bill Medicare, Medicaid and Medicaid-managed care organizations for the prescriptions and receive reimbursements they would use as pure profit.
“These defendants abused the fundamental trust between health care providers and patients by putting their own greed above the health needs of their patients,” Schneiderman said. “This blatant theft and abuse of our state and country’s most important healthcare programs is reprehensible and will not be tolerated.”
Elsayed will pay $4.1 million in civil penalties, while Hamed will pay $3.8 million.