The Oakland Press News –
It’s alleged that more than 1.9 million dosage units of Schedule II controlled substances were illegally prescribed.
Four doctors, a clinic owner, nurse practitioners and pharmacists from Detroit and the metro Detroit area are among 19 people indicted in what federal authorities are calling a $41 million illegal opioid distribution conspiracy.
The 44-count indictment, unsealed Thursday, alleges a conspiracy involving prescription drug controlled substances, including Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, Oxycodone-Acetaminophen (Percocet), Hydrocodone, Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen, promethazine with codeine cough syrup, and others.
Charged in the indictment are: John Henry Rankin, III, 46; Detroit, Dr. Beth Carter, 56, Southfield; Dr. Robert Kenewell, 52, Auburn Hills; Dr. Jason Brunt, 50, Clawson; Dr. John Swan, 30, St. Clair Shore; nurse practitioner Jean Pinkard, 63, Farmington Hills; nurse practitioner Toni Green, 58, St. Clair Shores; Fitzgerald Hudson, 60, Southfield; Virendra Gaidhane, 49, Troy; pharmacist Maksudali Saiyad, 65, Troy; pharmacist Adeniyi Adepoju, 61, Warren; pharmacist Ali Sabbagh, 36, Dearborn Heights; Robert King, 38, Taylor; Jermaine Hamblin, 36, Roseville; Sonya Mitchell, 50, Southfield; Lavar Carter, 56, Southfield; Robert Lee Dower, Jr., 49, Eastpointe; Denise Sailes, 51, Detroit; and Dewayne Bason, 28, Detroit.
It’s alleged that from September 2017 through June 2020, Rankin, owner of New Vision Rehab and Preferred Rehab clinics, provided money and other incentives to Carter, Kenewell, Brunt, Swan, Pinkard and Green to induce them to write prescriptions for “fake” patients, who did not have a legitimate medical need for the drugs. Rankin also allegedly provided financial compensation to an unlicensed medical professional who posed as a doctor and issued pre-signed subscriptions for controlled substances, in the names of other providers. That person is not legally authorized to prescribe controlled substances or practice as doctor,
It’s further alleged that more than 1.9 million dosage units of Schedule II controlled substances were illegally prescribed. The prescribed Oxycodone and Oxymorphone, alone, reportedly carried a conservative street value of more than $41 million.
King and Hamblin are named as marketers who recruited patients into the scheme.
It’s also alleged that some pharmacists presented with the prescriptions would bill insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers, for dispensing the medically-unnecessary drugs. Some pharmacists would also allegedly accept cash for filling and dispensing the drugs.
According to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, the pharmacies dispensed more than 58,725 dosage units of Schedule II controlled substances prescribed by the medical professionals listed in the indictment.
“Prescription drugs are supposed to go to people who truly need them, not to fake patients or people selling drugs on the streets,” United States Attorney Matthew Schneider stated in a news release. “We are focusing on charging doctors, pharmacists, and the networks that add to the opioid crisis, and this case is unfortunately yet another example of the serious problem facing Michigan.”
Added Steven D’Antuono, FBI special agent in charge: “Today’s indictments are the result of healthcare professionals allegedly contributing to the devastating opioid crisis instead of working toward its solution. The public expects and deserves more from them.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brandy R. McMillion and Mitra Jafary-Hariri. The case was investigated by special agents and task force officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health and Human Services, and Office of Inspector General.
This post expires and will no longer be available at 7:44 pm on Saturday, June 12th, 2021Tags: Provider Arrest