Pharmacist gets 3 years behind bars for $10M drug scam

A Nassau County pharmacist was sentenced Thursday to 36 months in prison for scamming $10 million from Medicaid, Medicare and New York State’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, authorities said.

Purna Chandra Aramalla, 67, of Port Washington, obtained pricey drugs, including HIV medication, from patients who were selling instead of taking them — then turned around and resold the pills second-hand to customers at his two pharmacies, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

He used lighter fluid to remove the adhesive patient labels on bottles in order to resell the prescriptions.

Aramalla, who owned and operated A Fair Deal Pharmacy Inc. in Queens and Quality Drug Inc. in The Bronx, worked with some of his crooked customers who agreed to “sell” him their prescribed medication by not picking them up — for a cut of his profits.

The phony pharmacist cashed in on millions of dollars in reimbursements from the various health care programs for the bogus drugs.

He was ordered to pay $7.5 million in restitution and was also sentenced on tax evasion charges. He must also file amended tax returns for 2010 through 2012 and pay back taxes.

Aramalla carried out the scheme from January 2010 to September 2013.

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Pharmacist gets 3 years behind bars for $10M drug scam
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