Philadelphia Pharmacy Pleads Guilty to More Than $500,000 in Fraudulent Insurance Claims as Part of Prescription Medication Scam

November 28, 2023 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Michelle Henry announced today that Philadelphia-based Aramingo Pharmacy pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud after an investigation uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent claims to health insurance providers, including Medicaid.

Aramingo Pharmacy, through its owner, Ahmed Bachir, will be required to pay $573,992 in restitution to the health insurance providers and $300,866 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services-Bureau of Program Integrity — for a total restitution payment of $874,858.

Bachir, 32, will also have his pharmacist license suspended for five years and is precluded as a Medicaid provider for that same period.

“Pharmacists are trusted to perform essential duties to responsibly provide medicine that treats illness and keeps Pennsylvanians healthy,” said Attorney General Henry. “In this case, Aramingo Pharmacy was more concerned with personal greed than patient care, using its authority to exploit health insurance providers. Any business or individual that attempts to defraud our healthcare system will be held accountable.”

A Grand Jury investigation determined that Bachir and the pharmacy billed Medicaid and other providers for prescription medications that were never provided to patients. From June 2019 to June 2021, Aramingo billed providers $573,992 for medications that were not provided to customers. The pharmacy used other tactics to maximize its profits, including: billing for brand name medications, but dispensing the generic form; requesting physicians to prescribe specific unnecessary and expensive medications; and asking physicians to change medications to more expensive replacements. Aramingo also refilled expensive medications and billed insurance companies for those refills without the knowledge of the patient and without ever dispensing these refills, keeping the full payment.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Eric Stryd and was investigated by Special Agent Colleen Guss.

The Pennsylvania Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $10,632,312 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2024. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $3,544,100 for FY 2024, is funded by Pennsylvania.

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