Two men face up to 20 years in prison after admitting that they created a Medicare fraud scheme during the pandemic. According to the Justice Department, Arkadiy Khaimov and Peter Khaim submitted millions of dollars in false Medicare claims and funneled $18 million into phony shell businesses. Each man admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Their fraud was part of a larger $100 million scheme that involved 13 people known as the Gulkarov Conspirators, who were all arrested in January for money laundering and bribery. Khaim was known as the leader of the group. Khaimov was sentenced to 51 months in May for defrauding a pharmaceutical manufacturer. He submitted $7.2 million in fake claims and received $489,000 as part of the scheme. The sentences for the money laundering charges will take place in May of 2023.
Khaim and Khaimov submitted claims to their pharmacies and those owned and operated by their co-conspirators throughout the pandemic, often listing expensive cancer medications that were not prescribed or dispensed. The men also used the “emergency override” billing codes set up during the pandemic for fake billing.
The duo then laundered the Medicaid payments, sending them through a fake wholesale pharmacy they created. The fake wholesaler would pay companies in China, who distributed the money to the two men and family members in Uzbekistan.
The scheme essentially stole money earmarked to reduce the cost of medication for those in need of financial assistance or uninsured. Those who see this type of fraud firsthand can notify the authorities but often find it highly beneficial to first contact an attorney who can help protect the client’s legal rights, career and financial interests.