Two Valley residents who ran a pharmacy were convicted Aug. 20 for running a $35 million fraud that billed Medicare for medicines that were never delivered. Aleksandr Suris, 51, and Maxim Sverdlov, 44, both of Sherman Oaks and owners of Royal Care Pharmacy in Los Angeles, were found guilty of health care fraud and money laundering, according to a statement from the U.S. Justice Department. From 2012 to 2015, Suris and Sverdlov billed Medicare and health insurer Cigna for medications that were not actually dispensed, the Justice Department said. Fake invoices were created by an unnamed co-conspirator to make it appear that Royal Care purchased medicines it billed Medicare for; the invoices also were used to launder proceeds through the co-conspirator. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18 before U.S. District Judge James Otero. Individuals and organizations involved in the investigation include: the Health and Human Services Department, the FBI, the IRS, California Department of Justice, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force; U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Assistant Chief Daniel Griffin and Trial Attorney Robyn Pullio of the Fraud Section. The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which was founded in 2007. The organization operates in 12 cities across the country, and has charged roughly 4,000 defendants guilty of billing the Medicare program for more than $14 billion. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Inspector General, are taking steps to eliminate fraudulent providers and increase accountability for such acts.