Pharmacist Accused of Falsely Billing for Expensive HIV Meds

A pharmacist has been arrested for allegedly defrauding New York's Medicaid program by billing for high-cost HIV medications that were never actually dispensed.

A pharmacist has been arrested for allegedly defrauding New York’s Medicaid program by billing for high-cost HIV medications that were never actually dispensed.

If convicted, pharmacist Mohamed Hassan Eladma faces 2 to 7 years in prison, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman stated in a press release.

Eladma owns 2 Pharmacy Express locations in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and the alleged fraudulent activity occurred between May 2014 and January 2016.

The pharmacy owner is accused of paying patients hundreds of dollars in cash in exchange for not receiving their prescription medications, which were mainly indicated to treat HIV. Without dispensing the medications, the pharmacies filed more than $50,000 in false claims with Medicaid, according to the attorney general.

“Health care providers cannot put their own interests above the needs of patients for financial gain,” Schneiderman said in a press release. “Theft and abuse of one of New York’s most important health care programs is shameless and will not be tolerated.”

Eladma was arrested and charged with grand larceny, health care fraud, and offering a false instrument for filing.

“To prey on the most vulnerable New Yorkers for personal gain is appalling,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks in the attorney general’s press release. “We will continue our longstanding partnership with the state attorney general and the state Medicaid inspector general to ensure that precious resources are not wasted and that those committing fraud are brought to justice as quickly as possible.”