7 arrested from alleged drug gang that used pharmacies in Publix, Walgreens and a Kmart
Fake patients, real clinics, doctors and patients, and South Florida Publix, Walgreens and a Kmart pharmacy combined for a prescription drug gang operation.
At least, that’s the assertion of an affidavit in support of arrest warrants filed in Broward County court, the result of a Broward Sheriff’s Office, FBI, DEA and Sunny Isles Beach police investigation.
The warrants led to seven Thursday arrests in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties of Olga Alterman, 49; Ronald Diaz, 46; Alexander Grichener, 65; Roman Grichener, 35; Vera Orenshteyn, 48; William Washington, 58; and Alberto Zisman, 58. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrests Friday.
“This criminal organization used fraudulent and illegal tactics to obtain massive quantities of prescription opioids to peddle for profit,” a statement from Moody said.
According to Moody’s office and the affidavit, The gang got patients to go to certain doctor’s offices, where they would be prescribed controlled substances such as oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone and alprazolam.
“The recruited patients use their own personal information for specific doctor’s offices and fake aliases for other doctor’s offices in order to obtain multiple sets of fraudulent prescriptions,” the affidavit said.
Those prescriptions were filled at legitimate pharmacies, mostly Publix and Walgreens pharmacies in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. But they also used a Kmart pharmacy at 1401 West Palmetto Park Rd. in Boca Raton, where Orenshteyn worked.
Once the prescriptions are filled, the drugs can be resold at black market wholesale and retail prices.
According to the affidavit, which includes information from two confidential sources in the scheme, here’s the roles each played:
▪ Alexander Grichener started and ran the scheme. Once the prescriptions were filled, he sold them at “wholesale price,” the affidavit said.
In the affidavit’s example, Grichener would sell Diaz oxymorphone for $17 per pill, then Diaz would give them to Washington to sell in Detroit for $30 per pill. Washington would bring that revenue back to Grichener in money orders. Grichener would put the profits into Roman Grichener’s back account at Wells Fargo or Bank of America.
▪ Roman Grichener, Alexander’s son, ran things when his father was away. He also “occasionally creates counterfeit MRI’s to take to the doctors’ offices for the organization’s patients.”
▪ Ronald Diaz did middle management mechanic work — recruited patients, getting fake Florida driver’s licenses for the patients who used aliases, driving them to get the prescriptions and getting them filled, as well as being a wholesale seller or the gang.
▪ Olga Alterman, an office manager at Dr. Douglas Slavin’s North Miami office, “is being paid by the organization to assist in acquiring opioid prescriptions for the patients” used by the gang.
▪ Vera Orenschteyn, pharmacist at the aforementioned Boca Raton Kmart, filled the prescriptions.
▪ Alberto Zisman acted as a patient recruiter and drug wholesaler to whom Alexander Grichener would give pills for resale.
▪ William Washington was a retail seller of drugs and transporter of money.
The affidavit says some of the patients used, such as Elena Babenkova, Nadezhda Selezneva and Vadim Kislov had skedaddled to Russia. Lyudmilla Kazan lives in Orlando. Alterman and one of the confidential sources called these four “dead ones,” meaning patients who didn’t even have to show up in the office for opioids.
For an office, the affidavit said, the gang used an office on U.S. 1 in Hallandale rented to “Selez, Inc.” State of Florida records indicates the company took its name from its’ lone officer, Selezneva.
How We Can Help
If you, a friend or a family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed criminal attorney who has been practicing law since 1987. He is available whenever you need him to pursue your rights. Please learn about our firm at www.FerrisLawFirm.com.
Republished by the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A.