Atlanta pharmacy owners sentenced in multi-million dollar scheme targeting WIC program

Atlanta pharmacy owners sentenced in multi-million dollar scheme targeting WIC program
WIC vouchers end Wednesday

ATLANTA — Three Atlanta pharmacy owners have been sentenced to federal prison for a multi-million dollar fraud scheme that targeted Georgia a program designed to help low-income women, children and pregnant women.

Pauline Mediko Badiki, 56, and Ferdinand Medico, 58, who are brother and sister, were each sentenced to four years and six months in prison. Monica Medico, 53, Ferdinand Medico’s wife, was sentenced to three years in prison. The family owned the Poly-Plex Pharmacy in the Bankhead neighborhood of Atlanta.

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Poly-Plex was an authorized vendor of the Georgia Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Investigators said the defendants bought WIC vouchers from low-income mothers for a fraction of their value instead of providing mothers with infant formula and food as the vouchers were intended to do.

After they bought the vouchers, the defendants deposited them into their bank accounts and sought reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The scheme led to approximately $6.5 million in reimbursements from federal funds.

“The defendants abused a program intended to assist those most in need and diverted public funds to satisfy their own greed,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Vendors who buy WIC vouchers abuse the trust placed in them to serve pregnant woman and young children, and they will be shut down and prosecuted.”