The co-owner of a Lynbrook pharmacy was arrested on Feb. 15 and charged with defrauding the state Medicaid program out of millions of dollars, claiming his business dispensed expensive cancer medications to patients that it did not even have in stock.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced the arrest of Arkady Goldin, 39, of Brooklyn, who owns Value Pharmacy Inc., at 257 Broadway in Lynbrook.
When a Herald reporter went to the pharmacy seeking comment on Feb. 16, the door was locked, and the building was empty. Reached by phone on Monday, a representative of Value Pharmacy declined comment.
According to a news release issued by Schneiderman and DiNapoli, Goldin allegedly billed Medicaid for millions of dollars in prescriptions that the pharmacy never dispensed and paid thousands in kickbacks to an unnamed hospital employee for the referral of prescriptions of costly cancer medications. They allegedly used the funds to pay for vacations and other expenses. Medicaid prohibits all providers, including pharmacies, from securing services or patients through the payment of kickbacks.
“Goldin and his accomplices allegedly capitalized off the treatment of others’ suffering to steal millions,” DiNapoli said in the release. “Through kickbacks and sham billing, Goldin and his partners diverted millions meant to provide treatment to those in need to fund their lifestyles and real estate investments. Attorney General Schneiderman and I will continue to root out public fraud and protect taxpayer funds.”
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit filed an asset forfeiture and civil recovery action in conjunction with the comptroller’s office against Goldin and pharmacy co-owners Arik Yershov, of Brooklyn, and Barry Beshkin, a Hewlett Harbor resident.
They are seeking $8.7 million in damages, alleging that Goldin and the others made millions off their schemes and put the funds into shell companies to pay for travel, expensive cars, memberships to a country club and real estate endeavors. Court papers allege that the pharmacy owners pooled more than $2.3 million to invest in a newly constructed condominium building in Brooklyn, which has units listed for a much as $1.75 million. In response, Schneiderman froze the owners’ bank accounts and other properties.
According to the release, the scam dates back to at least 2012. Prosecutors allege that Goldin submitted about $700,000 to Medicaid in false claims for reimbursement. In addition, they allege that he submitted claims of more than $1.2 million to Medicaid, stating that Value Pharmacy had dispensed Neupogen, an expensive cancer treatment medication, to its patients, when the pharmacy never possessed that high a quantity of the drug.
“We allege that the defendant engaged in an elaborate kickback scheme to line his pockets by defrauding Medicaid and pretending to dispense cancer medication he never actually distributed,” Schneiderman said. “Medicaid is meant to be a healthcare safety net for New Yorkers — not a bank account for criminals. My office will continue to fight for the integrity of the Medicaid program to ensure that our tax dollars are not wasted, and instead put toward helping our most vulnerable citizens, as intended.”
Goldin was charged with six counts of first-degree grand larceny, second-degree grand larceny, second-degree health care fraud, a violation of the social services law, which prohibits the payment of kickbacks, and two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted of the top count, he faces up to 25 years in prison.