A federal agent guards the door at Monica's Pharmacy.

Federal agents raided two Sheepshead Bay-area pharmacies early this morning and arrested their former owners as part of a multi-million dollar Medicare bust.

Monica's Pharmacy

(UPDATE: A newer version of this story, with details from the Department of Justice, has been posted.)

Authorities are still on the scene at Monica’s Pharmacy (1324 Sheepshead Bay Road) and L&A Pharmacy (394 Avenue X), and agents told Sheepshead Bites that the former owners were arrested for fraudulent billing practices. According to the agents, the investigation focuses at least partially on Medicare prescription drug coverage, alleging that the former owners may have billed for far more pharmaceuticals than they dispensed. Though they did not give an exact number, they said it was in the millions, and that investigators were tipped off when records showed the two mom-and-pop stores were billing the taxpayer-funded program for more than the local retail pharmacy chains like CVS and Duane Reade were collecting.

The raids occurred at approximately 7:00 a.m. this morning, following the arrest of the individuals. The agent said the pharmacies were both recently handed off to new owners, and the raids are to obtain records from the computer systems operated by the former owners. It was unclear if the owners of the two stores were connected in any way, but the agent added that they live very close to one another.

The individuals arrested are expected to appear before a judge later today.

As of 11:00 a.m., agents are still on scene at Monica’s Pharmacy. The store is closed for business, and a sign in the window tells customers that it’s because the computer systems are down. The agent said it’s likely that the pharmacies will be able to reopen as soon as tomorrow.

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  • superhero

    go russians!

  • JR

    dumb russians…. i hope they get deported

  • Georgia

    Good for there asses you can run but you can’t hide sooner or later they got yia. 

  • Yanisfx

    Is this even news these days?

    • Barkingspider7

      Unfortunately, it is not news.  Everyone knows what is going on with these doctors/pharmacies/companies.  It was never like this when I was growing up in Sheepshead Bay.  We had ONE doctor, ONE (maybe 2) Pharmacists (Doc Litman and the pharmacist at Kips on SBR), we did not have all these “specialists”, and unnecessary testing and dr. office revisits.  Crap, my father goes to the doctor every 6 weeks for the same problem.  Why?  Just give him his crack pipe (asthma inhaler) and see him 6 months later! 

  • http://blog.arikatt.com Ariela B.

    Uh oh…I hope the feds are aware of the Sheepshead Pharmacy Hydra. Close two, four more open up.

  • Lyolik

    how about the faids raid the projects, where welfare money goes to buy escalades, 300C’s, guns and drugs. i think those sums are far higher, and have been going on for years, and will be for years.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed 100%, seen a lot of BMW’s parked near the Starrett City projects….

  • mbboy

    I suspected there was some sort of Medicare fraud going on.  I mean, how can these Mom & Pop Anteka’s survive up against CVS and RiteAid? Yet there are loads of these stores opening every year. 

  • Tg

    As a new comer to the neighborhood…I have always amazed at the number of pharmacies/doctors’ offices sprouting at almost every corner.I thought Americans esp NY’ers are an unhealthy lot…sooner i realized that the gov medical benefits are mired in fraud indeed!

    Been to many cities in the world, I must say brooklyn has the highest density of clinics/ pharmacies in the world…HEY, we can claim a world title for that. No wonder the medical ads always never neglect one sentence: we accept white, blue and red card!!

    God bless our deficits

  • American

    all those  Mom & Pop stores & Anteka’s are called middle class.  For the past 3 years our government & state officials are killing it.   lets see who is left to pay taxes?, lets see what kind of service you going to get from chain stores!

    • Anonymous

      Ohh please. Look at rural America, everyone uses Walmart’s pharmacy, and they are happy!

  • nolastname

    So many pharmacies popped up around the same time, mbboy is on the money. 
    I remember awhile back they were repacking sample meds.. and selling medicine from other countries.

  • nolastname

    Now can someone investigate how all the private ambulance services bill Medicare????

    • Anonymous

      You took the words out of my mouth.
      These guys are thriving.
      Not that they are doing anything wrong.
      It’s just the allowances for these gov’t paid taxi services is just too liberal.

      • RomanM

        There’s only 5 companies operating in NYC that fit into this category. Assist, Midwood, Transcare, AMR, and Seniorcare. They could be very easily investigated and probably have been many times. If there is any illegal billing going on (or the prospect of billing illegally) there would be more of them out there.

        • nolastname

          Now I will have to look more closely, there must be sub or private that are able to bill insurances for their services. I don’t know how it works but is seems there are plenty more than 5 names stencilled on vans parked around the neighborhood.

        • nolastname

          What are the companies….Black Sea, Mobility Transportation and Golden Age Ambulette that have a D.O.T. operators licenses ? All I have to do is look out my window and I can name several. 
          Is this a form of car service?? 

          • RomanM

            Ambulette and Ambulance are two separate things. If you are having a heart attack, you want an ambulance. If you are old and want to get to your doctor, you want an ambulette.

  • Guest

    Mbboy is indeed on the money with his comment. I’m honestly not even surprised by this…this is probably the least of the medical billing fraud that goes on in Sheepshead Bay between all these “pharmacies” and medical services/offices. Hearing this makes me so upset because most of these people are driving around in their $100,000 luxury cars and buying $1,000,000 condos and STEALING tax payers hard earned money via Medicare/Medicaid fraud. And then most of them flaunt their wealth, which makes me even more upset because they’re not making honest living. The worst part about this is that because of all this Medicaid/Medicare fraud, deserving elderly and disable people are having their benefits reduced, or even cut in some cases. I get a little adamant with this topic being the daughter of legitimately disabled parents who are on a fixed income with cut/reduced Medicaid/Medicare benefits.

  • Sheepshead

    ONLY RUSSIANS!! THEY ARE SMART ASSES ! LOLL

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AUOXPOO3QPCKSC3P4J4P4O3AUI scir91onYouTube

    tsk tsk. because of greed, you will now have a date with bubba and his pals. have fun in prison! it’s better to be a free homeless man than a prison butt for inmates. 

  • Pingback: Local Pharmacists Bilked Medicare Out Of $3 Million | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Dgd92

    shocking, positively shocking

  • IGOR

    I’VE TAKEN MY BUSINESS TO T & N PHARMACY LOCATED ON THE CORNER OF AVE Z AND EAST 17TH STREET. THEY HAVE BEEN GREAT!

  • IGOR

    I’VE TAKEN MY BUSINESS TO T & N PHARMACY LOCATED ON THE CORNER OF AVE Z AND EAST 17TH STREET. THEY HAVE BEEN GREAT!

  • IGOR

    I’VE TAKEN MY BUSINESS TO T & N PHARMACY LOCATED ON THE CORNER OF AVE Z AND EAST 17TH STREET. THEY HAVE BEEN GREAT!