Brooklyn Pharmacy owner charged with alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud

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An Indian-origin pharmacist has been charged with operating a health care fraud scheme totaling approximately $9 million, using two pharmacies in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Prosecutors say Sunita Kumar  allegedly submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid and Medicare.  Kumar was arrested July 10. and was presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Kumar, 54, of Old Westbury, New York, is charged with one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of paying illegal remuneration in the form of kickbacks, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations, and Kumar is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Manhattan Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, in a statement quoted in the release, said, “As alleged, Sunita Kumar defrauded Medicare and Medicaid, public programs to assist the indigent and the elderly, by submitting $9 million in fraudulent claims.  She allegedly did so by inducing people to surrender their own prescriptions and forego their medications in exchange for kickbacks.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, Kumar carried out this scheme from in or about January 2015 through in or about December 2016. She owned one pharmacy and operated a second pharmacy in Brooklyn.