Queens Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud
Defendant Used Proceeds of Schemes to Purchase Luxury Items, Including a Porsche and Jewelry
BROOKLYN, NY – Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Aleah Mohammed pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano to mail fraud, health care fraud, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud stemming from multiple schemes to defraud health care programs, including obtaining more than $6.5 million from Medicare Part D Plans and Medicaid drug plans. When sentenced, the defendant faces up to 40 years’ imprisonment. As part of her plea agreement, Mohammed has agreed to forfeit $5.1 million and pay over $6.5 million in restitution.
Mark. J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); and Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); announced the guilty plea.
“With today’s guilty plea, Mohammed is held accountable for stealing millions of dollars from the taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs to line her own pockets,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko. “This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to safeguarding these vital health care programs and recovering ill-gotten proceeds from corrupt healthcare operators.”
“In attempting to finance a lavish lifestyle, Mohammed stole millions of dollars intended to provide medical and health services to the elder population, individuals with disabilities, and other HHS beneficiaries,” stated HHS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Lampert. “HHS-OIG, in collaboration with our law enforcement partners, is boldly committed to investigating illegal acts that target Federal health care programs and bringing the fraudsters to justice.”
According to court filings, Mohammed, 36, of Queens, New York, was an owner and operator of Superdrugs Inc., Superdrugs I Inc., Superdrugs II Inc., S&A Superdrugs II Inc. and Village Stardrugs Inc. From approximately May 2015 to January 2018 and December 2018 to March 2020, Mohammed submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid, for reimbursement for prescription drugs that were not dispensed, prescribed as claimed, or medically necessary, or that were purportedly dispensed during a time when Village Stardrugs was no longer registered with the State of New York. The fraudulent claims included claims for prescription drugs for the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Mohammed used the proceeds of the scheme, among other things, to purchase luxury items such a Porsche and jewelry.
The FBI and HHS-OIG are investigating the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. Trial Attorney Andrew Estes of the Fraud Section is in charge of the prosecution.
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y Docket Nos: 18-CR-509 and 20-CR-581 (ENV)