Pharmacy owner and accountant indicted in $134M health care fraud scheme
HOUSTON (STL.News) Two Houston area men are now in custody on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud relating to a pharmacy fraud scheme, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.
Authorities arrested Mohamed Mokbel, 56, and Fathy Elsafty, 62, both of Houston, today. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Edison at 2 p.m.
The eight-count indictment alleges Mokbel is the owner of several Houston area pharmacies, while Elsafty is his accountant.
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.