Local pharmacist sentenced to prison, ordered to pay over $3.7 million in restitution

    A valley pharmacist has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay over $3.7 million in restitution for conspiring with others to commit health care fraud. (MGNOnline)

    Nelson Mukuna, owner and operator of Atlas Specialty Pharmacy, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and ordered to pay $3,749,121 in restitution on Monday, Dec. 3, for conspiring with others to commit healthcare fraud.

    Mukuna, 41, previously pleaded guilty to commit healthcare fraud and structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements.

    The conspiracy began when Mukuna befriended Robert Harvey in July 2016, who then introduced Mukuna to co-conspirator Alejandro Incera.

    Incerna, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, formed an agreement with Mukuna in November 2016 that Mukuna would provide Incera with Xeomin, a form of Botox injection.

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    In exchange for the Xeomin, Incera would refer patients to Atlas Pharmacy for prescriptions.

    Soon afterward, Incera then introduced Mukuna to co-conspirator Leslie Kalyn, who then agreed to the same arrangement.

    The relationships developed, and by January 2017, Mukuna began paying cash for each referral, eventually paying $200 cash per referral to both Incera and Kalyn.

    These payments totaled approximately $175,000.

    Mukuna then began approaching other providers, offering the same kickback arrangement.

    To conceal the scheme, Mukuna structured cash withdrawals from his bank account to avoid a Currency Transaction Report from being generated.

    Banks and other domestic financial institutions are required to file reports for cash transactions exceeding $10,000 in a single day.

    The prosecution has resulted in the closure of Atlas Pharmacy as well as the surrendering of Mukuna’s pharmacy and DEA licenses.

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