South Ozone Park pharmacy owner sentenced in $6.5 M health care fraud scheme: Feds

South Ozone Park
The owner and operator of five Queens pharmacies was sentenced to more than 6 years in federal prison for ripping off more than $6.5 million from government healthcare programs. (Photo via Google Maps)

A South Ozone Park woman who owns several Queens drug stores was sentenced Wednesday, April 13, to 6 ½ years in federal prison for a health care fraud scheme in which she swindled millions from the government, according to federal prosecutors.

Aleah Mohammed, 37, was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court for carrying out multiple schemes to defraud health care programs, including more than $6.5 million from Medicare Part D plans and Medicaid drug plans.

Mohammed pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud in April. Mohammed operated five 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 Farmer Blvd. in Jamaica, according to federal prosecutors.

According to court documents, between 2015 and 2020, Mohammed utilized these pharmacies to engage in schemes that defrauded health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by submitting claims for prescription drugs that were not dispensed, not prescribed as claimed, not medically necessary, or that were purportedly dispensed during a time when the pharmacy was no longer registered with the State of New York. The fraudulent claims included claims for expensive prescription drugs for the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Mohammed and her family used proceeds of the scheme to purchase luxury items such as a Cadillac Escalade SUV, a Mercedes Benz sedan, a Porsche Turbo coupe, as well as jewelry and property in Queens and Pocono Pines, Pennsylvania.

“Through the Superdrugs Pharmacies that she owned and operated, the defendant was dispensing phantom prescriptions for fraud, stealing millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid programs by submitting false claims for reimbursement,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “Today’s sentence demonstrates there are consequences for those who chose to finance lavish lifestyles by diverting government resources from health care programs intended to help those truly in need.”