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Bad Medicine: Philadelphia Pharmacy Owners to Pay Over $4.6 Million to Resolve Improper Medicare and Medicaid Billing

Date Published
Jan 26, 2024

JANUARY 25, 2024. Jai Shri Krishna LLC, the current owner of Philadelphia-based Pennmark Pharmacy, along with its former owner, Pennmark Pharmacy Inc., have agreed to pay a total of $4.6 million to resolve their respective allegations of violating the False Claims Act and unjust enrichment.

Jai Shri Krishna LLC has owned the pharmacy since January 2018, with Antim Patel, a member of the LLC, as its principal pharmacist. From January 2018 through September 2020, Jai Shri Krishna LLC and Patel allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for prescriptions that were not actually distributed. Additionally, for certain medications, they allegedly billed Medicare for high-cost formulas but provided low-cost versions to patients instead. As part of the settlement, Jai Shri Krishna LLC and Patel will jointly pay $3,955,173.79 and have entered into an integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The agreement requires them to fulfill compliance obligations and allow third-party audits of their inventory and Medicare claims to ensure that there is no fraudulent behavior.

Pennmark Pharmacy Inc. and its principal, Engin Celik, will pay $700,530 to resolve its unjust enrichment allegations. From June 2015 to January 2018, they allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for medications that were not dispensed.

A U.S. Attorney stated, “Pharmacies and pharmacists are in a position to serve their communities as vital components of our medical system; they have a responsibility not to abuse their positions for profit … Taxpayers expect that their dollars will be spent on medications needed by Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The U.S. Attorney’s Office works every day to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not wasted on fraud and abuse.”
In the absence of a whistleblower in this instance, it’s important to note that the government leans on such individuals to protect patients and taxpayer dollars. Individuals who disclose fraudulent activity under the protections established by the False Claims Act are shielded from any form of backlash. Furthermore, they are eligible to receive a share of whatever the government successfully recoups.

If you would like to report fraud against government programs, you can contact attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei LLP. Eva Gunasekera and Renée Brooker are former officials of the United States Department of Justice and prosecuted whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act. Renée served as Assistant Director at the United States Department of Justice, the office that supervises False Claims Act cases in all 94 United States District Courts. Eva was the Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud. Eva and Renée now represent whistleblowers. For a free consultation, you can contact Renée at [email protected] (tel.: 202-417-3664) or contact Eva Gunasekera at[email protected]. You can also go to Tycko & Zavareei LLP’s website for whistleblowers to learn more at

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