California man found guilty of $723,000 healthcare fraud scheme

A Beverly Hills, California man was convicted in federal court on Tuesday for his role in a $723,000 healthcare fraud and prescription drug embezzlement at two Southern California pharmacies, a announced the US Department of Justice.

Between 2016 and 2017, Shahriar “Michael” Kalantari, 55, forged prescriptions as part of what court documents call a health care fraud and unlicensed wholesale distribution scheme.

Bottles of pills arranged on a shelf in a pharmacy

Bottles of pills arranged on a shelf in a pharmacy
(Stock)

According to court documents and testimony provided during the hearing, Kalantari’s co-conspirators provided him with information about the person receiving the drugs.

MAINE DOCTOR CUT BY STRIKE FORCE FOR ILLEGAL OPIOID PRESCRIBING

Kalantari would then use this information to falsify prescriptions for expensive drugs like those used to treat HIV.

The prescription would then be sent to California Medicare and Medicaid through Kalantari’s co-conspirator’s two Southern California pharmacies, though the drugs were never released to beneficiaries, the DOJ said.

These illustrations, provided by drugmaker ViiV Healthcare on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, show a rendering of packaging and vials containing its new HIV treatment, Cabenuva, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday January 21, 2021. US regulators have approved the world's first long-acting HIV combination drug, monthly injections that can replace daily pills used for decades to control infection with the AIDS virus.  Cabenuva's approval on Thursday should make it easier for people to stay on track with their HIV medications and do so with more privacy (ViiV Healthcare via AP)

These illustrations, provided by drugmaker ViiV Healthcare on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, show a rendering of packaging and vials containing its new HIV treatment, Cabenuva, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday January 21, 2021. US regulators have approved the world’s first long-acting HIV combination drug, monthly injections that can replace daily pills used for decades to control infection with the AIDS virus. Cabenuva’s approval on Thursday should make it easier for people to stay on track with their HIV medications and do so with more privacy (ViiV Healthcare via AP)

Instead, the drugs would be supplied to the co-conspirators to sell on the illegal market.

WISCONSIN DENTIST FOUND GUILTY OF BROKEN PATIENTS’ TEETH SO HE CAN FIX THEM IN FRAUD SCHEME

Kalantari is convicted of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and conspiracy to engage in the unlicensed wholesale distribution of prescription drugs.

He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years, with maximum sentences of 10 years for each of the health care fraud convictions and a maximum sentence of five years for unauthorized distribution.

justice department

justice department
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Kalantari’s sentencing is scheduled for February 24, 2023.

5 DOCTORS PLEAD GUILTY IN WEST VIRGINIA PRESCRIPTION PILLS SCHEME

The FBI and the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Health and Human Services investigated the case against Kalantari.

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Florida also assisted in the investigation.

The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the press release said, leads efforts to combat healthcare fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force program, which began in 2007.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The program includes 15 strike forces in 24 federal districts and has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have billed the Medicare program more than $19 billion.

Leave a Comment