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Pharmacy owner’s son admits role in $24 million kickback scheme

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The son of a former co-owner of a Union City pharmacy has admitted his role in multimillion-dollar conspiracies to pay kickbacks and bribes to health care professionals and to defraud the IRS, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced on Jan. 14.

Alex Fleyshmakher, 34, of the Morganville section of Marlboro, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to a superseding information charging him with conspiring to violate the federal anti-kickback statute and conspiring to defraud the IRS, according to a press release.

The superseding information alleges that Fleyshmakher conspired to solicit and pay kickbacks with seven other individuals, three of whom were previously charged with him by superseding indictment: Samuel “Sam” Khaimov and Yana Shtindler, both of Glen Head, N.Y., and Ruben Sevumyants of Marlboro.

Fleyshmakher is the first of these four co-defendants to plead guilty.

His other alleged conspirators in the kickback scheme included his father, Igor Fleyshmakher of Holmdel, who previously pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy; and Eduard “Eddy” Shtindler of Paramus, who previously pleaded guilty in a related kickback conspiracy. Their respective sentencings are pending, according to the press release.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Prime Aid Pharmacies – now closed – operated out of locations in Union City and the Bronx, N.Y., as “specialty pharmacies” which processed expensive medications used to treat various conditions, including Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Alex Fleyshmakher worked at Prime Aid Union City and was an on-paper owner of Prime Aid Bronx. Igor Fleyshmakher was a co-owner of Prime Aid Union City. Khaimov was the other co-owner of Prime Aid Union City and the lead pharmacist of Prime Aid Bronx.

Khaimov’s wife, Yana Shtindler, was Prime Aid Union City’s administrator, and Sevumyants was Prime Aid Union City’s operations manager. Eddy Shtindler, who is Yana Shtindler’s brother, was a Prime Aid Union City employee.

In order to obtain a higher volume of prescriptions, Khaimov, Yana Shtindler, Igor Fleyshmakher, Alex Fleyshmakher, Sevumyants, Eddy Shtindler and other Prime Aid employees paid kickbacks and bribes to doctors and doctors’ employees to induce doctors’ offices to steer prescriptions to the Prime Aid Pharmacies.

From 2008 to August 2017, these bribes included expensive meals, designer bags and payments by cash, check and wire transfers. The bribes and kickbacks were paid to, among others, doctors and doctors’ employees in New Jersey and New York.

The prescriptions that just one of those New Jersey medical practices steered to Prime Aid Union City as part of the scheme resulted in Medicare and Medicaid payments to Prime Aid Union City of approximately $24.8 million.

From 2011 to August 2018, Alex Fleyshmakher, working with others, surreptitiously took insurance reimbursement checks totaling millions of dollars from the Prime Aid Pharmacies.

Aided by his conspirators, Alex Fleyshmakher then cashed the checks at Brooklyn, N.Y., check cashing businesses or diverted them through Canadian bank accounts back into United States accounts he owned and controlled. He concealed these funds and failed to report them on his personal income tax returns, resulting in a $9.1 million tax loss to the IRS.

The conspiracy and tax evasion charges to which Alex Fleyshmakher pleaded guilty each carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for May 27.

The charges against and allegations in the information pertaining to Khaimov, Yana Shtindler and Sevumyants are accusations and those three defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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