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Post date: January 17 2001

Westchester Pharmacy Owner Admits To $320,000 "phantom Drug" Scam

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a White Plains pharmacy owner has admitted to stealing more than $320,000 from taxpayers by fraudulently billing the State Medicaid program for thousands of prescriptions and refills that were never dispensed to patients. The illegal billings took place between April 1996 and January 1999.

Appearing today in Westchester County Court before Judge Joseph West, Henry Magiet and his corporation, Hamlet Pharmacy, Inc., pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree.

Sentencing was set for March 28, at which time Judge West indicated he would sentence Magiet to four months of weekends in jail and five years' probation. As part of his plea, Magiet will make restitution of $322,591 to the Medicaid program.

Spitzer said, "This investigation and prosecution by my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit drives home our message: If you are stealing from State taxpayers, we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office.

Hamlet Pharmacy, Inc., was located at 96 Virginia Road in White Plains. Magiet, 51, lives at 19 Roland Drive, also in White Plains.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Gilbert Epstein, of the Pearl River Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.