TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – Attorney General Charlie Crist announced that a South Florida man was arrested today for his participation in one of the largest Medicaid fraud schemes broken up in the past few years. Wilber Bherviz, 40, of Ft. Lauderdale, ran a nationwide drug ring with his brother that diverted tens of millions of dollars of medications from the Florida Medicaid program and then resold the drugs throughout the country.
The arrests stem from an extensive three-year investigation that uncovered the massive drug diversion scam run by Bherviz and an accomplice.
The two ringleaders purchased prescriptions from illicit Florida wholesalers who bought drugs from Medicaid patients they recruited, including many patients in adult living facilities. They then sold the diverted drugs to wholesalers and retail pharmacies around the country through their company Houston Rx., located in Houston, Texas. Investigators believe Bherviz and his co-conspirator funded their multi-million-dollar operation by funneling money through several shell corporations they owned.
To launder the money received from the transactions, checks were cashed at numerous South Florida check cashing stores.
“Diverting prescription drugs is extremely dangerous to those who eventually take the medication,” said Crist. “We will continue to track down and prosecute those who perpetuate this illicit activitiy.”
Bherviz is currently being held at the Broward County Jail on $5 million bond. He is charged with organized scheme to defraud, trafficking in contraband legend drugs and money laundering, all first degree-felonies, as well as conspiracy to traffic in contraband legend drugs and the purchase of legend drugs from an unauthorized person, both second-degree felonies. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 180 years in prison. The accomplice is currently a fugitive.
Today’s arrest is the result of a joint investigation led by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, which will also try the case. Other agencies whose efforts led to today’s arrest are the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Texas Department of Health, the New York Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The investigation into other entities involved in the scam is ongoing.