Union City pharmacy co-owner pleads guilty to bribery scheme, evading taxes on nearly $34M

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A Union City pharmacy co-owner has pleaded guilty to a multi-million dollar kickback scheme, as well as evading taxes on nearly $34 million in income, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Igor Fleyshmakher, 58, of Holmdel, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the federal anti-kickback statute and tax evasion before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton, Carpenito said in a statement.

He allegedly conspired to violate the anti-kickback statute with seven other individuals, including the following individuals who have been previously charged by superseding indictment or information:

Samuel “Sam” Khaimov of Glen Head, New York; Ruben Sevumyants of Marlboro, New Jersey; Alex Fleyshmakher of Morganville, New Jersey; and Eduard “Eddy” Shtindler of Paramus, New Jersey.

Shtindler has previously pleaded guilty for his role in a related kickback conspiracy and is pending sentencing.

“Kickback schemes like this not only illegally enrich defendants like Fleyshmakher, they take needed resources from our healthcare system,” Carpenito said.

“And after stealing millions of dollars in this way, the defendant stole again, by failing to report this income or pay taxes on it. His guilty plea today will make sure he is held to account for his crimes.”

The Prime Aid Pharmacies – now closed – operated as “specialty pharmacies” out of locations in Union City and Bronx, New York. They processed expensive medications used to treat various conditions, including Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Igor Fleyshmakher was a co-owner of Prime Aid Union City. Khaimov was the other co-owner of Prime Aid Union City and the lead pharmacist of Prime Aid Bronx.

Additionally, Sevumyants was Prime Aid Union City’s operations manager, and Alex Fleyshmakher worked at Prime Aid Union City and was an owner of Prime Aid Bronx. Shtindler was a Prime Aid Union City employee.

Staring in 2010, in order to obtain a higher volume of prescriptions, Igor Fleyshmakher, Khaimov, Sevumyants, Alex Fleyshmakher, Shtindler, and other Prime Aid employees paid bribes to doctors and doctors’ employees to induce doctors’ office to steer prescriptions to the Prime Aid Pharmacies, according to court documents.

The bribes included expensive meals, designer bags, and payments by cash, check, and wire transfers. The bribes and kickbacks were paid to, among others, doctors and doctors’ employees in New Jersey and New York, authorities said.

As part of his plea agreement, Igor Fleyshmakher agreed that the improper benefit conferred as part of the conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback statute was between $3.5 million and $9.5 million.

In addition, between 2012 and 2014, Igor Fleyshmakher diverted a substantial amount of Prime Aid Union City income into a secret bank account that he opened and controlled.

He concealed the account from the pharmacy’s tax preparers and did not report any of the funds he deposited into it on his personal income tax returns.

In total, he diverted $33.9 million of income into the secret account, all of which he failed to report to the IRS. As a co-owner of the pharmacy, his conduct resulted in a $5.8 million tax loss to the IRS on his share of that income for tax years 2012 through 2014.

The conspiracy and tax evasion charges to which Igor Fleyshmakher pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

His sentencing is scheduled for June 22, 2020.