Forest Hills pharmacy owner sentenced for $18M COVID healthcare fraud and money laundering scheme: Feds

A Forest Hills pharmacy owner was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to nearly nine years in prison for conspiring with his brother in an $18 million COVID healthcare fraud and laundering scheme.
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A Forest Hills man was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to nearly nine years in prison for his role in an $18 million COVID-19 healthcare fraud and money laundering scheme. 

Peter Khaim, 44, conspired with his brother, Arkadiy Khaimov, 41, who also resides in Forest Hills. The brothers pleaded guilty in November 2022 to conspiracy to commit money laundering for using New York-area pharmacies to submit false and fraudulent Medicare claims and then laundering the criminal proceeds.

Khaimov was previously sentenced in April to six years in federal prison for his role in the money laundering scheme.

According to court documents, the brothers engaged in a complex conspiracy to launder the proceeds of fraudulent healthcare involving over a dozen pharmacies they and their co-conspirators owned and controlled by submitting millions of dollars in fraudulent claims to Medicare, including during the pandemic.

They exploited the system for their own financial gain by using COVID-19-related “emergency override” billing codes to submit bogus claims for expensive cancer medications that were not prescribed by physicians or dispensed to patients and were purportedly dispensed during periods when certain pharmacies were closed.

Khaim and Khaimov concealed over $18 million of their criminal proceeds by funneling money through several shell companies, including sham pharmacy wholesale companies designed to look like legitimate wholesalers.

The brothers typically transferred funds from the pharmacy bank accounts they controlled to sham wholesale companies. These funds were then sent to countries like China for distribution to individuals in Uzbekistan, with some of the funds returned to the defendants in cash.

Additionally, Khaim, Khaimov, their relatives or their designees often received certified cashier’s checks and cash. The brothers used the scheme’s proceeds to purchase real estate and other luxury items.

Khaim was sentenced on June 24 by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly to 97 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $18 million in restitution and to forfeit more than $2.7 million.