HOUSTON – Two Houston area men are charged in a nationwide pharmacy health care fraud scheme that targeted elderly citizens, U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Tuesday.
Mohamed Mokbel, 57, and Fathy Elsafty, 63, are charged with one count of a conspiracy to commit mail and health care fraud, two counts of health care fraud and 15 counts of money laundering.
The 18-count indictment, returned on July 20, alleges that from 2013 to January 2022, Mokbel and ElSafty conspired to commit a $150 million mail fraud and health care fraud scheme and engaged in money laundering with the fraud proceeds. Mokbel is also alleged to have continued the fraud scheme at MK Pharmacy, a Houston area pharmacy, from April 2021 through January 2022. During this time, he had been permitted release on bond after the return of the original indictment in March 2021.
Mokbel was the CEO of 4M Pharmaceuticals Inc., according to the charges. With ElSafty’s assistance, he allegedly acquired and controlled over a dozen pharmacies that operated in Houston and elsewhere. The indictment alleges Elsafty served as 4M’s accountant and tax preparer and had ownership interests in several pharmacies located in California, Texas and Florida. ElSafty allegedly aided Mokbel by falsifying corporate filings and concealing Mokbel’s involvement in the pharmacies.