By SDCN Staff
Two New York men pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit money laundering for using New York-area pharmacies to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and then laundering the criminal proceeds, federal prosecutors said.
Arkadiy Khaimov, 39, of Forest Hills, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Peter Khaim, 42, also of Forest Hills, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering on Nov. 3.
According to court documents, Khaim and Khaimov engaged in a complex money laundering conspiracy to launder the proceeds of a fraudulent healthcare scheme involving over a dozen New York-area pharmacies that they and their co-conspirators owned and controlled. Specifically, Khaim and Khaimov used the New York pharmacies to submit millions of dollars in fraudulent claims to Medicare, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. These fraudulent claims included claims for expensive cancer medications Targretin Gel 1% and Panretin Gel 0.1% that were not prescribed by physicians or dispensed to patients, and that were purportedly dispensed during periods when certain pharmacies were closed. Khaim, Khaimov, and their co-conspirators exploited the COVID-19 emergency for their own financial gain by using COVID-19-related “emergency override” billing codes to submit additional fraudulent claims for Targretin Gel 1%.
To conceal over $18 million of their criminal proceeds, Khaim, Khaimov, and their co-conspirators funneled money through several shell companies, including sham pharmacy wholesale companies designed to look like legitimate wholesalers. Khaim and Khaimov typically sent the funds from the pharmacy bank accounts they controlled to the sham wholesale companies. The funds were then typically sent to companies in China for distribution to individuals in Uzbekistan and the defendants received some of these funds in cash. At other times, the fraudulent proceeds were sent from the sham wholesale companies to Khaim, Khaimov, their relatives, or their designees, in the form of certified cashier’s checks and cash. Khaim and Khaimov used the proceeds of the scheme to purchase real estate and other luxury items.
Khaimov is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3, 2023. Khaim is scheduled to be sentenced on May 10, 2023. They each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.