Baltimore Pharmacists Plead Guilty to Medicaid Fraud
BALTIMORE, MD (April
24, 2008) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today
that two pharmacists pled
guilty to Medicaid Fraud
for defrauding the Medicaid program of more than $400,000. Norton
Grossblatt, 67, owner of Purdum Pharmacy in Towson, pled guilty
in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Harvey Rapkin, 70, of
Pikesville, pled guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City
and will be sentenced on September 23, 2008. No date has been set
for Grossblatt’s sentencing.
The fraud scheme began in 2002 while Rapkin was employed at Baltimore
Behavioral Health (BBH) in South Baltimore. His job was to obtain
prescription refills for BBH and then distribute the medications
to patients. The Medicaid program paid for most of these prescriptions.
Rapkin employed the services of his longtime friend Grossblatt
to fill many of the Medicaid prescriptions. Over time, Rapkin noticed
that although he was routinely getting monthly prescriptions filled,
the patients frequently did not come in to pick up the medicine.
Rapkin took the leftover
Medicaid prescriptions home with him and sold them back to Grossblatt
for half the usual
cost of the
drugs. Grossblatt then filled the next month’s prescriptions
reusing the pills and billed Medicaid again for the same pills.
This scheme went on every month for nearly two years. Problems
arose when the number of pills Grossblatt legitimately purchased
fell far short of the number of pills for which he billed Medicaid.
In all, over a two year period, Grossblatt billed Medicaid for
nearly 90,000 pills that he obtained from Rapkin. Rapkin and Grossblatt
each netted nearly $200,000 from the scheme.
The case was prosecuted
by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland Attorney
General’s Office and was referred
to the Unit by the United States Attorney’s Office for the
District of Maryland, who also participated in the investigation
in this matter.