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San Marino pharmacy shutting down after owners' arrest

December 21, 2011 |  3:23 pm

Pasadena RX
A 64-year-old San Marino pharmacy is shutting down after its owners were charged in an $18-million Medicare scheme in which they allegedly billed the government for antipsychotic medications and resold some of the drugs on the black market.

Huntington Pharmacy, which opened its doors in 1947, will be closed down Thursday.

Owner Phic Lim, 47, and his wife and business partner Theana Khou, 39, of Pasadena, were arrested Oct. 27 on suspicion of "prescription harvesting."

The pharmacy billed Medicare for $45,000 in 2009, but the figure jumped to nearly $1.5 million in 2010, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The scheme allegedly involved the couple's business and a separate firm, Manor Medical Imaging Clinic of Glendale, according to federal prosecutors.

Lim and Khou have pleaded not guilty in the fraud case. No trial date has been set.

Customers of the San Marino shop said they were surprised and disappointed when they heard the news.

“I regret it a great deal. It's been a very important part of San Marino,” said Harold Ray, who has frequented the establishment for 15 years. “Everyone was always friendly and competent.”

Lil Montalvo was getting a prescription filled when she learned that next Thursday would be the pharmacy’s last day.

“I’ve been coming here since 1960 and it breaks my heart,” she said.

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-- Adolfo Flores

Photo: A pedestrian strolls past Huntington Pharmacy in San Marino.

Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Pasadena Sun

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