Queens Pharmacy Owner Found Guilty of Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Charges for Role in Billing Scheme
BROOKLYN, NY – A federal jury in Brooklyn returned a guilty verdict last night against pharmacy owner Yuriy Barayev on one count of health care fraud and seven counts of money laundering for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare by billing for prescription medications that were not provided to patients. The verdict followed a four-day trial before United States District Judge Edward R. Korman. When sentenced, Barayev faces up to 10 years in prison for health care fraud and up to 20 years in prison on each of the money laundering counts.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced the verdict.
As proven at trial, from November 2013 to December 2015, Barayev engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting claims for hundreds of medications that were never dispensed through his pharmacy, Woodhaven Rx. The evidence further showed that Barayev laundered the proceeds of his health care fraud scheme through a shell company owned by his wife, and then spent the money on himself, his family and friends.
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, Strike Force prosecutors filed more than 1,750 cases charging more than 3,800 defendants who collectively billed the Medicare program approximately $15 billion; 2,643 defendants pleaded guilty and 338 others were convicted in jury trials; and 2,424 defendants were sentenced to imprisonment for an average term of approximately 50 months. Medicare payment trends demonstrate the positive impact of Strike Force enforcement and prevention efforts.
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-318 (ERK)