A former Melville man accused of running 11 pharmacies in New York City and on Long Island involved in a $16 million Medicaid fraud scheme fled to his native Pakistan as investigators rounded up nine alleged co-conspirators, including his son, authorities said.
The New York State Attorney General’s office is seeking to extradite Mujahid “Peter” Pervez, 63, who was barred from owning pharmacies and involvement in government-funded health care following a 1991 Medicaid fraud conviction.
“I’ve seen few cases as systematically criminal and despicable as this one,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in statement announcing the indictments against Pervez and five others. Another quintet have already pleaded guilty, but their cases remain sealed, Schneiderman said.
Prosecutors said Pervez’ 39-year-old son, Raheel, of Dix Hills, falsified publicly filed paperwork required to operate the pharmacies, falsely claimed to run the drug stores and failed to disclose to state officials that his father actually ran them.
Raheel Pervez was charged last week in Bronx county court with conspiracy, enterprise corruption, grand larceny and offering false instruments for filing. No attorney was listed for him. He was ordered held without bail and was due back in court Wednesday.
Authorities said that hundreds of patients who went to the involved pharmacies—Langdale Drug & Surgical Supplies in New Hyde Park and two in the Bronx—were paid $100 for prescriptions for the HIV drug Atripla between 2009 and 2012. Medicaid then reimbursed the pharmacies more than $1,000 for each prescription, but the patients did not get their medication, prosecutors said.
A judge froze bank accounts belonging to the suspects and the related pharmacies, including Courtesy Drugs & Surgical Supply in Deer Park, Jericho RMW in New Hyde Park and New York Well Care Pharmacy of Long Island in East Farmingdale.
All involved face up to 25 years behind bars, if convicted.
A Queens doctor allegedly referred patients to Pervez’ main drug store, Big Mart Pharmacy in the Bronx, in exchange for the doctor operating an HIV clinic rent-free in the same building, authorities said.
The doctor, Richard Cedeno, was described as New York’s top prescriber of the commonly abuse painkillers Oxycontin, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.