Some Bronx, New York pharmacists are accused of living the high life while AIDS patients desperate for cash were paid to skip their medicine, according to authorities.
When arrested, pharmacist Mohamed Hasan Ahmed buried his face in officers’ clothes. Pharmacy owner Ahmed Hamed was calm as he was led away in handcuffs. A third owner of the 184th Street Pharmacy in the Bronx’s University Heights, Tarek Elsayed, was arrested in his home in Elmhurst.
They allegedly paid poor AIDS patients not to take medicine but would still charge the federal government for the expensive medicine. In one year, the trio allegedly stole through Medicaid $9.8 million in taxpayer money. They were arrested by anti-fraud officers of the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Agents confiscated six cars: a Maserati, a Mercedes-Benz, BMWs, and Acuras — belonging to the trio, all allegedly purchased with stolen money.
Reaction in this neighborhood to the arrests ranged from concern to anger. Those concerned were patients who were confused when confronted with the locked doors of the pharmacy.
The pharmacy trio has been charged with allegedly defrauding the New York Medicaid program, theft, and money laundering through 10 different shell corporations.