Los Angeles Pharmacist Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison in Medicare Part D Scheme
The owner and operator of a Los Angeles pharmacy was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme involving the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division made the announcement.
Rouzbeh Javaherian, 35, of Beverly Grove, California, pleaded guilty to health care fraud on March 16, 2015. In addition to imposing the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the Central District of California ordered Javaherian to pay $644,060 in restitution to Medicare.
Javaherian was a licensed pharmacist and owner of Emoonah Inc., doing business as Westaid Pharmacy and Medical Supply (Westaid), which was located in Los Angeles. According to admissions in the plea agreement, from January 2008 to November 2014, Javaherian devised and executed a scheme to defraud the Medicare Part D program by paying illegal cash kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries to induce them to submit their prescriptions to Westaid. Javaherian then filled some of those prescriptions, but also submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare Part D plan sponsors for prescriptions that he did not actually fill. Javaherian received approximately $644,060 in overpayments from Medicare as the result of the fraud scheme.
The case was investigated by the FBI and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Alexander F. Porter of the Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged over 2,300 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for over $7 billion. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-Office of Inspector General, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Team, go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.