A Queens man was sentenced Thursday to prison for filing $7.2 million in fraudulent claims using a pharmacy coupon program designed to defray the cost of an expensive prescription drug, according to federal prosecutors.
U.S. District Judge Joan M. Azrack of Central Islip gave the man, Arkadiy “Alex” Khaimov, 39, of Forest Hills, 51 months in prison for a scheme that lasted between 2017 and 2018, said a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which prosecuted the case.
Khaimov and others submitted reimbursements for medication the pharmacies “had never actually dispensed,” prosecutors said. It was not clear the status of the co-conspirators, who include, according to charging documents, a physician based in Nassau County. The co-conspirators were not named.
The names of the defrauded manufacturer and the drug for which Khaimov filed the fraudulent claims were not disclosed, but the drug was described as a “‘priceless breakthrough’ and potential ‘cure’ for a serious and possibly deadly disease” in the news release.
Khaimov and his co-conspirators allegedly used the computers of pharmacies they ran in Queens and Manhattan to submit claims for reimbursements under the copay coupon program for medications that the pharmacies never actually dispensed. In some cases, prosecutors said, Khaimov and his co-conspirators used the credentials of the Nassau County physician to submit the claims.
Danielle Blustein Hass, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said lawyers for the victims noticed unusual behavior with reimbursements and brought the case to the government’s attention.
On Aug. 12, 2020, Khaimov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, Azrack ordered Khaimov to forfeit about $489,000 in proceeds and pay restitution of about $7.2 million.
His attorney Isabelle A. Kirshner didn’t return a message Thursday seeking comment.
In December 2020, Khaimov was charged as one of two owners of pharmacies involved in a $30 million COVID-19 health care fraud and money laundering scheme. The status of that case was unknown Thursday.