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Nine Pharmacists Charged for Role in $12.1 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme in Michigan and Ohio

freestocks-nss2eRzQwgw-unsplash-300x200The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has unsealed the indictments of nine pharmacists who were charged last week for their alleged participation in a $12.1 million health care fraud scheme executed in Michigan and Ohio.

The nine pharmacists named in the DOJ’s press release are:

  • Auday Maki, 66, of Northville, Michigan, charged with health care fraud.
  • Hassan Abdallah, 49, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, charged with health care fraud.
  • Ali Abedrazzaq, 44, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, charged with health care fraud.
  • Hassan Khreizat, 40, of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, charged with health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
  • Nofal Cholag, 41, of Macomb Michigan, charged with health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
  • Raef Hamaed, 50, of Scottsdale, Arizona, charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
  • Kindy Ghussin, 45, of Greene County, Ohio, charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
  • Balhar Singh, 57, of Butler County, Ohio, charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
  • Tarek Fakhuri, 47, of Windsor, Canada, charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and wire fraud.

The indictments filed in the Eastern District of Michigan allege that the nine defendants—who are all licensed pharmacists and/or owners of the pharmacies in Michigan and Ohio—billed Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for prescription drugs that were never dispensed. It isn’t known whether each indicted party has retained legal representation.

According to court documents, Abdallah, Hamaed, Fakhuri, Ghussin, Singh, and Abdelrazzaq received $6.9 million for drug sales from Medicare and Medicaid even though their pharmacies didn’t have sufficient inventory to dispense medication of that volume. The Michigan and Ohio pharmacies they used for the alleged fraud scheme are Harper Drugs Inc., Heartland Pharmacy LLC, Heartland Pharmacy 2 LLC, and Wayne Campus Pharmacy LLC.

From January 2013 to January 2016, Cholag and Khreizat reportedly received $1.5 million from Medicare, Medicaid, and BCBS for drugs their pharmacy, Universal Pharmacy LLC, couldn’t have dispensed. Maki received approximately $3.7 million through City Drugs Pharmacy Inc. In total, the named defendants allegedly received more than $12.1 million from fraudulent claims filed between 2010 and 2019.

Medical billing fraud is the most common healthcare fraud scheme. Most cases of this kind are based on the theory that a healthcare business or medical provider deliberately submitted fraudulent billing to Medicare, Medicaid, or a private insurance provider. However, billing mistakes can happen, and the alleged fraud must be widespread and financially significant for the government to become involved.

If your business is under investigation for health care fraud, you should immediately consult an experienced fraud attorney. The sooner you contact an attorney, the easier it will be to resolve the matter. A good lawyer will understand the nuances of different medical fraud scenarios and tailor a specific defense strategy for your case.

South Florida Fraud Attorney

Are you accused of committing health care fraud in South Florida? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. for a free initial consultation with one of South Florida’s most experienced fraud defense attorneys.

Source: 6.17.20 nine pharmacists charged for role in $12.1 million health care fraud scheme.pdf

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