No Drugs Dispensed

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Elder holds hands on walking stick while sitting on white sofa in nursing home

A federal jury in Los Angeles, California found a pharmacy owner guilty for her role in a Medicare fraud scheme involving more than $1.3 million in fraudulent claims for prescription drugs. 

Tamar Tatarian, 39, a Pasadena pharmacy owner, was sentenced to four years behind bars for running the Medicare fraud scheme. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter, who also ordered her to pay $1.5 million in restitution to Medicare. Tatarian was convicted of one count of healthcare fraud and two counts of wire fraud following a four-day jury trial.

The jury found that from October 2015 through October 2017, the owner of Akhtamar Pharmacy engaged in a scheme that involved submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare Part D plan sponsors for prescription drugs that the pharmacy never ordered from wholesalers, and thus never dispensed to Medicare beneficiaries. (Like so many fraudsters, Tatarian thought she was smart enough to elude detection.)

Tatarian attempted to conceal the fraud by creating fake invoices, reflecting wholesale drug purchases by Akhtamar Pharmacy that never occurred. In other words, no drugs were purchased and none dispensed to patients. (As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s — or woman’s — needs, but not every man’s greed.”)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “Pasadena Pharmacy Owner Sentenced to 4 Years for Medicare Fraud Scheme,” posted on NBCLosAngeles.com on February 25, 2019.

A Pasadena pharmacy owner was sentenced Monday to four years behind bars for running a Medicare fraud scheme involving more than $1.3 million in phony claims for prescription drugs.

Tamar Tatarian, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter, who also ordered her to pay $1.5 million in restitution to Medicare.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.