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NY pharmacy owner faces lifetime of prison for health care fraud

New York officials recently accused a local pharmacy owner of partaking in a health care fraud scheme that allegedly led to $2 billion in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid. According to the indictment, the government moved forward with criminal charges against the pharmacy owner along with twelve other medical professionals including another pharmacy owner, three licensed physical and occupational therapists, a chiropractor and five doctors.

Yuriy Barayev, one of the pharmacy owners that faced criminal charges as a result of one of the local divisions of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force’s most recent investigations, faced one charge of health care fraud. The government stated that from 2013 through 2015 the accused filed claims for pharmaceutical products that were never given to beneficiaries. This led to approximately $6.6 million in allegedly false pharmaceutical claims.

In addition to the health care fraud charges, the prosecution also argued the accused was guilty of multiple counts of money laundering. The government claimed the pharmacy owners took actions to attempt to remove the financial gains from their connection to the false claims by putting the proceeds into a shell company. The shell company, they state, was set up under his wife’s name.

The accused maintained his innocence, but the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced the court ruled in the government’s favor. As a result, he currently faces up to ten years imprisonment for the health care fraud conviction as well as an additional 20 years imprisonment for each of seven money laundering convictions.