PHARMACY OWNER CONVICTED IN MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME

WASHINGTON – A federal jury in Los Angeles found a pharmacy owner guilty today for her role in a Medicare fraud scheme involving more than $1.3 million in fraudulent claims for prescription drugs.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna of the Central District of California, Assistant Director in Charge Paul D. Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division and Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Regional Office made the announcement.

After a two-day trial, Tamar Tatarian, 39, of Pasadena, was convicted of one count of health care fraud and two counts of wire fraud.  Sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 25, 2019 before U.S. District Judge John F. Walter of the Central District of California, who presided over the trial.  Tatarian was the owner of Akhtamar Pharmacy in Pasadena.

According to evidence presented at trial, from approximately October 2015 through approximately October 2017, Tatarian engaged in a scheme involving the submission of fraudulent claims to Medicare Part D plan sponsors for prescription drugs that Akhtamar Pharmacy never ordered from wholesalers, and thus never dispensed to Medicare beneficiaries.  Tatarian attempted to conceal the fraud through the creation of fake invoices, reflecting wholesale drug purchases by Akhtamar Pharmacy which had, in fact, never taken place.  As a result of this scheme, Tatarian through Akhtamar Pharmacy submitted claims to Medicare for more than $1.3 million in prescription drugs that she never purchased or dispensed to patients, the evidence showed.

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