A Dearborn pharmacist was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison for conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription pills and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Special Agent in Charge Marlon Miller, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
In March 2013, Waleed Yaghmour was charged with 43 others in a health care fraud and drug distribution scheme. The indictment alleged that Sardar Ashrafkhan, Deepak Kumar, John Check and David Vezzossi, who owned home health agencies, provided kickbacks, bribes and other illegal benefits to physicians in exchange for prescriptions for patients with Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. The prescriptions were for controlled substances including oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and alprazolam (Xanax). Patient recruiters or “marketers” would pay kickbacks and bribes to patients in exchange for the patients’ permitting the pharmacies and physicians to bill their insurers for medications and services that were medically unnecessary and/or never provided. During the conspiracy, prescriptions were presented to the Sav-Mart Pharmacy in Detroit, which was owned and operated by Yaghmour, as well as several other pharmacies.
In his guilty plea, Yaghmour, 48, admitted that he knew that the controlled substances he dispensed for these fraudulent prescriptions had no legitimate medical purposes. Yaghmour has admitted to dispensing at least 1,500 oxycodone 100,000 hydrocodone and 100,000 alprazolam doses as part of the scheme.
Yaghmour received nearly $2 million in cash payments for illegally dispensing the controlled substances. Yaghmour has agreed to forfeit $973,177.87 that was seized from an account that he maintained at HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Ramallah, Palestine.