Woodbury Pharmacy owner accused of bilking $250,000 from Medicaid

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:56

    Woodbury Pharmacy Inc. has been accused of stealing more than $250,000 from Medicaid by submitting claims for expensive medications that were never dispensed, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced Thursday. Maher Ishak and his corporation, Woodbury Pharmacy Inc., were arraigned Jan. 28 in the Town of Woodbury Court on a charge of second-degree grand larceny, a felony punishable by up to 15 in years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or double the amount of the illegal gain. According to the complaint, between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 10, 2003, Woodbury Pharmacy, Inc., acting through its owner Ishak, stole more than $250,000 from the Medicaid program. The pharmacy is located on Route 32 in Central Valley. A press release from Spitzer's office indicated that Ishak, 50, of 1 Chimney Ridge Drive in Harriman, billed for medications that the pharmacy did not stock. Among the drugs improperly billed for were the injectable medications Neupogen (used to stimulate the growth of white blood cells) INFeD (used to treat iron deficiency anemia) and Procrit (used to stimulate the growth of red blood cells), according to the Spitzer press release. When contacted early Thursday afternoon, Ishak asked for a copy of the press release, which The Photo News faxed to him. He was unavailable when contacted a short time later. The Woodbury Pharmacy investigation was one of two announced Thursday by Spitzer's office. In the second, Kenneth Rizzo, the owner of a Goshen pharmacy specializing in home infusion, was sentenced on Jan. 14 to a year in prison for fraudulently billing more than $1 million worth of infusion medicines and supplies that he falsely claimed had been provided to Medicaid recipients between Jan. 30, 1996, and Nov. 12,2001. Rizzo, who pleaded guilty in October 2004 to second-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, also paid restitution of $1,278,946 to the Medicaid program. He was a co-owner and supervising pharmacist of Option Care (which does business as Kris-Tal Corp.), located at 329 Route I7A in Goshen. The pharmacy provides infusion medicines and supplies to patients, such as individuals with AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy. Rizzo, 39, of Montvale, N.J., admitted that he had not dispensed these medications. In fact, he billed for medications that had never been prescribed or, in some cases, for medications that had been dispensed by others. Spitzer credited the Orange County Department of Social Services for referring the matters to his office.