March 15, 2021
Two Houston area men are now in custody on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud relating to a pharmacy fraud scheme.
Authorities arrested Mohamed Mokbel, 56, and Fathy Elsafty, 62, both of Houston. 4M Pharmaceuticals Inc. was the parent company for several retail pharmacies that operated in Houston, Fort Worth, South Florida and elsewhere, according to the charges. Mokbel was 4M’s CEO and allegedly had ownership interests in the subsidiary pharmacies. The charges allege Elsafty served as 4M’s accountant and tax preparer as well as nominee owner of the multiple pharmacies.
4M Pharmaceuticals allegedly functioned as an outbound telemarketing call center that solicited Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance patients nationwide – many over the over the age of 55. The indictment alleges call center employees offered patients medically unnecessary diabetic supplies and topical creams although many refused the solicitations. However, 4M Pharmaceuticals and pharmacies allegedly billed the patient’s insurance plan anyway. In some cases, 4M pharmacies billed for prescriptions dispensed after a patient’s death, according to the allegations.
The scheme also allegedly targeted doctors. The charges allege 4M Pharmaceuticals sent fax requests for prescriptions that patients often did not authorize. In several cases, the company billed patients for prescription drugs without a valid prescription, according to the allegations. 4M pharmacies also allegedly sent prescription requests to doctors for dead patients. Read the full press release.
Source: Department of Justice
If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact Ohio SMP at 1-800-488-6070, use the “Report Fraud” button on this App, or click here.