HOUSTON — Federal investigators say two men targeted senior citizens in a $150 million nationwide mail fraud and health care fraud scheme. Some of the targets were dead for months, if not years.
A federal indictment in the case against Mohamed Mokbel and Fathy Elsafty alleges that from April 2021 through January 2022, the two men participated in a pharmacy health care fraud scheme. At the time, Mokbel was on bond after the return of a different indictment for the same actions going back to 2013.
The indictment said Mokbel is the CEO of 4M Pharmaceuticals Inc. Elsafty, acting as an accountant, allegedly helped Mokbel by falsifying corporate filings and concealing Mokbel’s involvement.
Under the scheme, the indictment said Mokbel bought patient data and directed his employees to submit test claims to patient insurance plans to determine insurance coverage. The company then allegedly sent prescription requests to doctors’ offices on behalf of the patients without their knowledge or consent.
In some cases, the indictment reads, the company requested prescriptions for patients who had been dead for months, if not years.
The indictment goes on to allege that employees at the company called patients to report that their doctor had approved prescriptions for them and they would get them at no cost. The charges state that Medicare and other insurance plans often required a copay, which 4M did not collect.
The two men face a count of conspiracy to commit mail and health care fraud, two counts of health care fraud and 15 counts of money laundering. If convicted, they face up to 200 years in prison and fines of $250,000 or not more than twice the amount of the criminally derived property.