The siblings owned and operated Poly-Plex Pharmacy, located in the Bankhead area of Atlanta, Pak’s office said. In 2005, the business became an authorized vendor of the WIC program, which provides food to low-income pregnant women and children up to age five in the form of paper vouchers, which can be exchanged for foods listed on the voucher.
Between 2009 and June 2013, the Badiki and the Medikos purchased WIC vouchers from low-income mothers for a fraction of their value instead of providing the infant formula and food listed on the vouchers, federal officials said. They then deposited the funds into their bank accounts as if they provided WIC recipients with the foods listed on the vouchers, and were reimbursed by the USDA.
Prosecutors said the trio deposited “tens of thousands” of WIC vouchers, resulting in about $6.5 million in federal reimbursements. That far surpassed the redemptions from large grocery stores in the area that also offered the program. More than $4 million of the reimbursements were fraudulent, Pak’s office said.
All three defendants must also serve two years of probation and pay $3,700; they will also have to pay restitution, but that amount has not yet been determined.