HARLEM — A manager at a pharmacy on Broadway has been busted for buying prescription drugs from an undercover cop and carrying out a fraud scheme that bilked Medicaid for nearly $6,000, authorities said.
Antonio Tavarez was arrested Thursday after giving the undercover police officer $100 as a down payment for 360 pills of Percocet, law enforcement officials said.
The arrest capped a seven-month investigation in which Tavarez allegedly made seven buys for prescription drugs for HIV/AIDS, herpes and heartburn, authorities said.
He was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, grand larceny, health care fraud, criminal diversion of prescription medication and falsifying business records, officials said.
Cops and investigators from the NYPD's Manhattan North Narcotics, the Bureau of Fraud Investigation, Human Resources Administration and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General's Office participated in the investigation. The the city's Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Bridget G. Brennan, oversaw the probe.
Tavarez, a manager at Broadway Pharmacy, located near West 135th Street, is accused of billing of Medicaid for $5,900 for filling bogus prescriptions he had illegally bought from the cop, authorities said.
Investigators are reviewing other pharmacies where Tavarez has worked over the last six years, officials said.