Residents of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and other parts of Michigan sincerely hope that most of their local medical practitioners are fine, upstanding people who conduct their businesses in skilled, informed and ethical ways. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and some medical practitioners engage in conduct that is so reprehensible that they wind up needing criminal defense representation in an effort to deal with the consequences of their unprofessional actions.
That is the case with a Livonia doctor, who has been charged, along with seven others, in a drug prescription scheme involving alleged drug sales believed to total approximately $18 million. The doctor at the center of the case was named in an indictment from an interim U.S. attorney, which charges him with conspiracy and health care fraud. The doctor and his co-defendants were scheduled to appear in Detroit federal court to address the charges.
The case has made the news due to a recent nationwide focus on abuse of a class of drugs called opioids, which are intended to be used as pain relievers but can easily be abused. The doctor and the seven others, who have been referred to as patient recruiters, are accused of selling drugs including hydrocodone-acetaminophen, oxycodone HCl and promethazine/codeine syrup between January 2012 and May 2017. All three of those drugs are opioids. The doctor and the others are additionally alleged to have sold nonopioid drugs, such as alprazolam, which is commonly known by its brand name, Xanax.
The doctor allegedly prescribed a total of 2.7 million dosage units of the controlled substances referenced in the indictment, adding up to the $18 million value. According to the indictment, the doctor used the seven patient recruiters to find people wanting to buy drugs, and bring those people into his office as fake patients, where the drugs would be prescribed to those fake patients but then sold elsewhere. The doctor has already lost his medical license and had $600,000 seized from his home.
Source: Crain's Detroit Business, "Livonia doctor, 7 others charged in alleged $18 million fake prescription scheme," Annalise Frank, Jan. 09, 2018