The first of two suspects was
arrested at the 184th Street Pharmacy. The Bronx pharmacist committed
Medicaid fraud by doling out AIDS medication and buying prescriptions
THE OWNERS of a Bronx pharmacy and the druggist they employ were busted
Tuesday for a Medicaid scam that involved buying high-priced
anti-retroviral HIV medication back from the sick patients they were
doling them out to.
Pharmacy owners Ahmed Hamed, 37, and Tarek Elsayed, 48, were arrested
along with pharmacist Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, 36, at 184th Street
Pharmacy just before noon Tuesday.
“These defendants abused the fundamental trust between health care
providers and patients by putting their own greed above the health needs
of the patients,” said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a
statement. “This blatant theft and abuse of one of our state’s most
important health care programs is reprehensible and will not be
The prescriber allegedly paid patients cash for their medications, kept
the Medicaid payments for the pills, then resold them to other sick
patients. It was unclear what medication the suspects were doling out.
The trio submitted claims for thousands of dollars in reimbursements to
Medicaid and Medicaid managed care organizations for medications they
did not dispense between March 1, 2013 and the present, officials said.
|A car was confiscated by authorities after two suspects were arrested at the 184th Street Pharmacy.
In less than a year, government-sponsored health care programs paid 184th Street Pharmacy in excess of $9.8 million.
Investigators said Hamed also paid patients bonuses if they referred others to his services.
Cops led Ahmed Hamed and Mohammed Hassan Ahmed from the pharmacy in
handcuffs. The pair attempted to hide their faces from cameras and did
not respond to reporters’ questions.
The three Queens men were charged with felony grand larceny, scheming to defraud the government, and money laundering.
Hamed and Elsayed used multiple shell corporations to launder the
millions they made through the scam, according to the Attorney General’s
Some in the neighborhood said the scam is not uncommon.
“I’ve sold my meds before,” admitted Mt. Hope resident Anthony
Campbell. “I paid my bills with the money. A man’s going to sell his
medications if that’s the only way he’s going to feed his family.”
The pharmacy owners in Tuesday’s bust were using their ill-gotten gains
to finance a lavish lifestyle, according to investigators. The Attorney
General froze numerous bank accounts linked to the bogus companies and
seized a Maserati, two BMWs and a Mercedes-Benz owned by the pill
The three were expected to be arraigned sometime Tuesday evening.
Nadine Lavaughn, 54, who has been HIV positive since 1989, said she was shocked people would sell prescriptions for cash.
“I need my medications every day,” Lavaughn said after asking
investigators how she would get her pills. “Some people, I guess if
they’re homeless, even if they’re dying, they’ve got to eat.”
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