Manhattan Brothers Charged with Pharmacy Drug Fraud

June 7, 2004

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced that a Manhattan grand jury has charged two brothers who operate a Washington Heights pharmacy with stealing more than $800,000 from taxpayers by fraudulently billing for thousands of drugs that were never dispensed to patients.

Albert and Hector Perez were charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and five counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. If convicted, they each face up to 15 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, between Sept. 1, 2001, and April 30, 2004, Hector Perez, the owner of St. Anthony Pharmacy, and his brother, Albert Perez, who worked at the store, submitted thousands of reimbursement claims for expensive medications they falsely claimed were dispensed to Medicaid recipients.

In carrying out their illicit scheme, the brothers either paid cash for the
prescriptions or allowed Medicaid recipients to trade their prescriptions for other drugs, such as Viagra or the narcotic drug Tylenol 3.

As a result of the false billings, Hector and Albert Perez are
alleged to have stolen more than $800,000 from the Medicaid program.

Hector Perez, 48, of Maywood, New Jersey, was arraigned on June 1
in Manhattan Supreme Court before Justice Brenda Soloff. He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $50,000.

Albert Perez, 34, of West New York, New Jersey, was arraigned on May 25 before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Ambrecht. He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $50,000.

St. Anthony Pharmacy (which is also known as Justin Pharmacy, Inc.) is located at 3860 Broadway in Manhattan.

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