Lynbrook pharmacy owner sentenced to jail for $1.5M Medicaid scam

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The owner of a Lynbrook pharmacy was sentenced to jail time in Queens Supreme Court on Friday for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of $1.5 million.

Arkady Goldin, 40, of Brooklyn, who owns Value Pharmacy — which recently moved from Corona, Queens to 257 Broadway, in Lynbrook — was sentenced to six months in prison, five years probation and 200 hours of community service. He will also have to pay $1.5 million to the state as restitution for the money stolen from Medicaid, and an additional $1.5 million in financial penalties.

In June, Goldin pleaded guilty to second-degree health care fraud and violating the social services law prohibition on the payment of kickbacks related to the state’s Medicaid program. Goldin was arrested on the charges in February after he defrauded Medicaid and participated in a kickback scheme with a former employee of Nassau University Medical Center.

“Mr. Goldin sought to enrich himself at the expense of vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on our Medicaid program,” Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a news release. “He now faces jail time and millions of dollars in restitution penalties. This sentencing should send a clear message that we won’t hesitate to hold fraudsters accountable.”

In papers filed in court, the state alleged that Goldin participated in a kickback arrangement with a former NUMC employee, who pleaded guiltily to unlawfully accepting the funds. In exchange for steering positive cancer prescriptions from NUMC to Value Pharmacy, Goldin paid the employee a monthly cash referral fee and provided him with other items of value, which included tickets to sporting events, an iPad and meals. State law prohibits medical providers from paying or offering to pay kickbacks to another person in return for the referral of medical services paid for by Medicaid.

Goldin also was arrested for claiming that his business dispensed expensive cancer medications to patients that it did not have in stock. Goldin put the funds into shell companies to pay for travel, expensive cars, memberships to a country club and real estate endeavors. Court papers allege that he and his partners pooled more than $2.3 million to invest in a newly constructed condominium building in Brooklyn, which has units listed for as much as $1.75 million.

The investigation also determined that as part of the scheme, the pharmacy did not purchase sufficient amounts of medication from licensed New York drug wholesalers that would have been necessary if Value Pharmacy had legitimately dispensed the prescriptions for which it billed Medicaid.

"Mr. Goldin's jail sentence and order to repay millions to the state should serve as a warning," Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a release. "Mr. Goldin defrauded a program meant to help vulnerable New Yorkers and is being held accountable."