SHERMAN OAKS—Co-owners and operators, Aleksandr Suris and Maxim Sverdlov, of Royal Care Pharmacy located at 7300 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood were sentenced to 144 months in prison. Both defendants were involved in a health care fraud scheme where Medicare and CIGNA were billed more than $11.8 million in fraudulent claims for prescription drugs.

From 2012 to 2015, Suris and Sverdlov billed Medicare and CIGNA for prescription medications that Royal Care did not purchase or dispense to beneficiaries. In order to cover the scheme, Suris and Sverdlov obtained fake invoices from co-conspirators to make it appear that Royal Care purchased the medicines for which it had billed Medicare and CIGNA.

Aleksandr Suris, 51, of Sherman Oaks was sentenced to 144 months in prison for six counts of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge S. James Otero also ordered Suris to pay a restitution amount of $11,826,444.65 to Medicare and $17,109.39 to CIGNA, and an immediate partial restitution payment of $500,000.

Suris’ partner, Maxim Sverdlov, 45, was also sentenced to 144 months in prison by Judge Otero. Sverdlov is ordered to pay $11,826,444.65 in restitution to Medicare and an immediate partial restitution payment of $500,000.

In total, Suris and Sverdlov submitted millions in false claims to Medicare for prescription drugs that they never purchased or dispensed to patients.

The case was investigated by HHS-OIG, the FBI, IRS-CI and the California Department of Justice, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.