NEW YORK (AP) — Two brothers are facing health care fraud and money laundering charges in connection to a $30 million scheme that took advantage of the pandemic emergency's relaxing of some Medicare regulations, authorities said Monday as they unsealed a federal indictment.
Peter Khaim, 40, and Arkadiy Khaimov, 37, were both charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They were each separately charged with concealment money laundering.
The men, of the Forest Hills section of Queens, New York, were arrested Monday. An attorney for Khaimov declined comment. An email seeking comment was sent to Khaim's attorney.
In the indictment, authorities said the men had false claims submitted to Medicare from pharmacies they were in control of in New York City and on Long Island.
The claims took advantage of the easing of drug prescription authorization rules in the pandemic to say an expensive cancer medication was being prescribed, purchased and distributed to patients when that was not true, according to the indictment. The medication, Targretin Gel 1%, has a wholesale price of $34,000 per tube, authorities said.
Authorities also accused the men of taking the money from the fraud scheme and using it for a money laundering operation that sent money to businesses in China and from there to people in Uzbekistan.
The indictment said the men used their proceeds from the plan to buy real estate and luxury items.