Miami Pharmacy Charged in Scheme to Defraud Medicare and Medicaid

Date: 
Friday, March 16, 2012
Office Affiliation: 

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Guy P. Fallen, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), and Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), announced yesterday that defendant Tarara Pharmacy, a/k/a “Farmacia Tarara,” located in Miami, Florida, was charged in an indictment with one count of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, for executing a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.  If convicted, Tarara Pharmacy faces a fine of up to $500,000 for each charged offense.

According to the indictment, between January 2006 and January 2011, the defendant defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by submitting fraudulent claims and receiving reimbursements for prescription drugs that it did not, in fact, purchase from prescription drug wholesalers or provide to Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the defendant fraudulently represented to Medicare and Medicaid that it provided medically necessary prescription drugs to beneficiaries and that it fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid for drugs that the defendant had actually returned to the drug distributor for account credit. In addition, the indictment alleges that the defendant facilitated the recycling of prescription drugs through the black market by dispensing them in the manufacturers’ original packaging. 

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the HHS-OIG, SSA-OIG and MFCU.  This prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric E. Morales.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.