Texas pharmacy owner spent $15M from fraud scheme on gambling and Ferrari, feds say

Chacour Koop
·1 min read

A Texas pharmacy owner and the company’s accountant were indicted in a $134 million health care fraud scheme, authorities say.

Mohamed Mokbel, 56, and Fathy Elsafty, 62, were in custody Tuesday on health care fraud charges through 4M Pharmaceuticals Inc., the parent company of retail pharmacies in Fort Worth, Houston, South Florida and other locations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Authorities did not release the names of pharmacies operated by the company.

Mokbel was the owner and Elsafty was the accountant for 4M Pharmaceuticals.

Mokbel was arrested early Tuesday at his home in Houston, KTRK reported.

4M Pharmaceuticals is accused of operating as a telemarketing call center, soliciting Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance patients across the U.S. and offering unnecessary diabetic supplies and topical creams, authorities say. Though many declined, authorities say the company and its pharmacies still billed the patients’ insurance.

Sometimes, the company billed for prescriptions dispensed after a patient died, authorities say.

Authorities say the pharmacies also requested prescriptions from doctors for patients who already were dead.

From December 2013 through March 2020, the pharmacies collected more than $134 million in fraudulent claims through Medicare and other healthcare benefit programs, authorities say.

Mokbel used the funds to buy a $1.5 million home and spent $15 million for gambling and casino expenses and payments on a Ferrari and Bentley, authorities say.

Mokbel and Elsafty are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and money laundering.

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