Queens Pharmacy Owner Found Guilty of Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Charges for Role in Billing Scheme
A federal jury found a New York pharmacy owner guilty Wednesday of health care fraud and money laundering charges for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare by billing for prescription medications that were not provided to patients.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York, Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Office of Investigations and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Larsen of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) New York Field Office made the announcement.
After a four-day trial, Yuriy Barayev, 45, of Queens, New York, was found guilty of one count of health care fraud and seven counts of money laundering. U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman of the Eastern District of New York, who presided over the trial, will sentence Barayev at a later date.
According to evidence presented at trial, from November 2013 to December 2015, Barayev engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting claims for prescription medications that were not actually dispensed to patients. Barayev billed Medicare for hundreds of medications that were never dispensed through his pharmacy, Woodhaven Rx, the evidence showed. The evidence further showed that Barayev laundered the proceeds of his health care fraud scheme by transferring money to a shell company owned by his wife and then spending the money to benefit himself, his family and others close to him.
This case was investigated by HHS-OIG and IRS-CI. Trial Attorneys Sarah Wilson Rocha and Debra Jaroslawicz and Assistant Chief A. Brendan Stewart of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.