N.J. Pharmacist Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison Following Insurance Scam

December 29, 2005

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Monmouth County pharmacist is the third of four defendants to be sentenced to state prison for participating in a prescription fraud scheme which defrauded the Medicaid Program out of more than $290,000 in insurance payments for medications that were never dispensed to patients.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Milton Barasch, 75, Ivy Way, of Monmouth County, was sentenced by Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin to four years in state prison. Additionally, Baraschs’ pharmacist license was suspended for one year and he was removed from any participation in the Medicaid Program for eight years.

Brown noted that Barasch was charged with theft by deception, Medicaid Fraud, and Health Care Claims Fraud via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on Nov. 8, 2002. Barasch pleaded guilty to Health Care Claims Fraud on May 19, 2003 before Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael Nelson.

In pleading guilty, Barasch reportedly admitted that S Brothers Pharmacy billed the Medicaid Program more than $293,815 for medications that were never dispensed to patients or for medications that were dispensed using stolen or fraudulent Medicaid identification numbers. In some cases, phony bills were submitted to the Medicaid Program for medications prescribed to Medicaid recipients who had died years before.

The indictment also charged several co-defendants with Medicaid fraud and Health Care Claims fraud for their participation in the Medicaid fraud scam.

The indictments charged Shahid Khawaja, 47, of New York City, the owner of the now defunct S Brothers Pharmacy formerly located at 687 Frelinghuysen Ave., Newark, with fraudulently billing the Medicaid Program $293,815. Khawaja pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced on July 22 to five years in state prison and ordered to pay $235,984 in restitution. Following the prosecution by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, federal authorities charged Khawaja with laundering more than $1.8 million in stolen monies obtained through various fraud schemes, including Medicaid Fraud.

Also charged were Dr. Axat Jani, 40, Fairlawn, Bergen County and Azam Khan, 40, of New York City. Jani pled guilty before Judge Nelson on Jan. 7, 2003 and was subsequently sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 criminal fine. On Aug. 9, 2002, Khan pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Joseph Falcone to a criminal Accusation which charged Health Care Claims Fraud. Khan is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2006.

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