Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office announced that a pharmacist who owned and operated a pharmacy in Los Angeles pleaded guilty this week in connection with a Medicare fraud scheme.
Rouzbeh Javaherian, 34, of Beverly Grove, California, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the Medicare Part D program through a pharmacy called Emoonah Inc., doing business as Westaid Pharmacy and Medical Supply. According to admissions in the plea agreement, Javaherian was a licensed pharmacist and owner of Westaid, which was located in Los Angeles. From January 2008 to November 2014, Javaherian devised and executed a scheme to defraud the Medicare Part D program by paying illegal cash kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries to induce them to submit their prescriptions to Westaid. Javaherian then filled some of those prescriptions, but also submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare Part D plan sponsors for prescriptions that he did not actually fill.
From January 2008 to November 2014, Javaherian received approximately $644,060 in overpayments from Medicare as the result of the fraud scheme.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 1, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the Central District of California. Unfortunately, the California Board of Pharmacy still reports that Javaherian is licensed as a pharmacist in California with no apparent restrictions on his license. The status is reflected as “clear.”
The case was investigated by the FBI, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Alexander F. Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,100 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6.5 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.