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New York State Attorney General Letitia James recently announced that the owner and manager of Santiago Pharmacy in Flushing, Queens, were indicted for paying kickbacks to Medicaid recipients in exchange for filling their HIV prescriptions at the pharmacy.

Juan Poveda, the owner, and Javier Burbano, the pharmacy manager, were charged with grand larceny, health care fraud, and violating New York Social Services Law. Poveda, a corporation and an LLC owned by him or a relative, and the pharmacy itself were also charged with money laundering.

Poveda and Burbano allegedly stole $2.9 million from Amida Care, a Medicaid-funded managed care organization, by billing for expensive drugs such as Biktarvy, an HIV retroviral medication, that were either obtained illegally or never purchased at all. Medicaid beneficiaries were allegedly paid cash kickbacks to fill their prescriptions at Santiago Pharmacy.

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