Queens pharmacy owner stole $7.9M through phony Medicare claims to buy luxury car & jewelry: feds

The owner of Superdrugs I on Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill, as shown in October 2017, was indicted on Sept. 24 for allegedly committing Medicare fraud.
Photo via Google Maps

A South Ozone Park woman who owns several Queens drugs stores faced a federal judge on Sept. 24 over charges that she swindled nearly $8 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid payments.

Aleah Mohammed, 33, was indicted for allegedly submitting millions of dollars in fraudulent claims as part of a scheme to defraud the federal health care programs, according to U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue.

Prosecutors said Mohammed operated four Queens pharmacies, including Superdrugs I Inc., located at 127-04 Liberty Ave. in South Richmond Hill; and S&A Superdrugs II Inc., located at 138-10 Farmers Blvd. in Jamaica.

According to the indictment, Mohammed carried out the Medicare & Medicaid fraud scheme between May 2015 and June of this year. She and others involved in the scam allegedly submitted claims to the Medicare Part D program and Medicaid for reimbursement for prescription medication that were either not dispensed to patients, prescribed as claimed or even medically necessary.

Among the claims submitted were for prescription drugs used in the treatment of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). These medications generally cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, without factoring in health insurance coverage, according to the blog Healthline.

As a result of the fraudulent claims, prosecutors said, Mohammed netted $7.9 million from Medicare and Medicaid, which she then used to support a lavish lifestyle, including purchases of luxury jewelry and even a Porsche.

“These investigations matter because the subjects are stealing money each and every one of us pays in taxes to fund these programs,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said. “What adds insult to injury, defrauding the government and stealing money is rarely about anything more than spending money on frivolous things like pricy jewelry and fast cars. Our ultimate goal is to stop these fraudsters from wasting the millions they steal so it can go to the patients and taxpayers who depend on it.”

If convicted of the charges, Mohammed faces up to 10 years in federal prison.