Pasadena Pharmacy Owner Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Role in Health Care and Wire Fraud Scheme

Published : Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | 5:38 AM

A Pasadena pharmacy owner was sentenced Monday to 48 months in prison for her role in a Medicare fraud scheme involving more than $1.5 million in fraudulent claims for prescription drugs.

Tamar Tatarian, 39, of Pasadena, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter of the Central District of California, who also ordered Tatarian to pay $1,537,710 in restitution to Medicare. On Dec. 14, 2018, Tatarian was convicted of one count of health care fraud and two counts of wire fraud following a four-day jury trial.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna, Assistant Director in Charge Paul D. Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division and Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Regional Office made the announcement.

Tatarian was an owner of Akhtamar Pharmacy in Pasadena. According to evidence presented at trial and sentencing, from approximately October 2015 through June 2018, Tatarian engaged in a scheme involving the submission of fraudulent claims to Medicare Part D plan sponsors for prescription drugs that Akhtamar Pharmacy never ordered from wholesalers, and thus never dispensed to Medicare beneficiaries. Tatarian attempted to conceal the fraud through the creation of fake invoices, reflecting wholesale drug purchases by Akhtamar Pharmacy which had, in fact, never taken place, the evidence showed. As a result of this scheme,Tatarian, through Akhtamar Pharmacy, submitted claims to Medicare for more than $1.5 million in prescription drugs that she never purchased or dispensed to patients, the evidence showed.

This case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG. Trial Attorney Alexis Gregorian and Assistant Chief A. Brendan Stewart of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

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