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26 Charged In Alleged Prescription Drug Scam

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Maybe they've figured out there's a problem...finally.





In what the federal government is calling one of the largest prescription drug scams in Michigan history, 26 people have been charged in a health care fraud scheme that billed insurers for millions of dollars worth of bogus prescriptions, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court today.


Among those charged are 12 pharmacists, four doctors, an accountant and a psychologist – all of whom allegedly took part in a scheme involving sham prescriptions for Oxycontin, Vicodin, Xanax and cough syrup with codeine, the affidavit said.


“The allegations against these 26 individuals, particularly of the medical professionals, are significant. These individuals abused their positions of trust and endangered the lives of countless people by illegally distributing more than 6 million doses of opiate painkillers and depressants throughout southeast Michigan and beyond,” said Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of DEA's Detroit Field Division. “This indictment makes it clear that the DEA and our partners in law enforcement will continue to investigate and bring to justice those individuals that are responsible for the illegal distribution of prescription medicines."


The 34-count indictment alleges that Babubhai (Bob) Patel, 49, a Canton pharmacist, was the owner and controller of some 26 pharmacies statewide, but hid his ownership and control of the pharmacies through the use of straw owners.


According to the indictment, Patel would offer and pay kickbacks, bribes, and other inducements to doctors in exchange for them writing prescriptions for patients with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. The doctors would then direct the patients to fill the prescriptions at one of Patel’s pharmacies, the indictment said.


There, according to the indictment, Patel and his pharmacists would bill insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers, for dispensing the medications, even though they weren’t necessary and/or ever provided.


According to the indictment, the participating patients also got kickbacks. They were recruited into the scheme by recruiters, who would pay kickbacks and bribes to patients in exchange for their agreeing to have their insurance cards billed for medications purportedly dispensed at the Patel pharmacies.


According to the indictment, the Patel pharmacies billed Medicare at least $37.7 million during the scheme, and at least $20.8 million was billed to Medicaid.


Patel Pharmacies dispensed at least 250,000 doses of Oxycontin, at least 4.6 million doses of Vicodin, at least 1.5 million doses of Xanax, and at least 6,100 pint bottles of codeine cough syrup.have dispensed not less than In addition to Patel, those charged in the 34-count indictment are:


• Physician Paul Petre, 43, of Rochester Hills


• pharmacist Dineshkmar Patel, 33, of Canton


• pharmacist Anish Bhavsar, 35, of Canton


• pharmacist Ashwini Sharma, 33, of Novi


• pharmacist Pinakeen Patel, 32, of Sterling Heights


• pharmacist Kartik Shah, 34, of Canton


• pharmacist Viral Thaker, 30, of Findlay, Ohio


• pharmacist Hiren Patel, 31, of Novi


• pharmacist Miteshkumar Patel, 37, of Troy


• pharmacist Lokeh Tayal, 35, of Canton


• pharmacist Narendera Cheraku, 33, of Farmington Hills


• accountant Chetan Gujarathi, 38, of Canton


• Arpitkumar Patel, 26, of Romulus


• Sumanray Raval, 54, of Farmington Hills


• Harpreet Sachdeva, 38, of Canton


• Ramesh Patel, 50, of Canton


• Rana Naeem, 60, of Rochester Hills


• podiatrist Anmy Tran, 40, of Macomb


• physician Mark Greenbain, 69, of Farmington Hills


• physician Mustak Vaid, 38, of Brownstown Township


• psychologist and patient recruiter Sanyani Edwards, 32, of Ferndale


• Komal Acharya, 27, of Farmington Hills


• patient recruiter Leodis Elliott, 41, of West Bloomfield


• patient recruiter LaVar Carter, 34, of Macomb.


The case was investigated by a team of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.


"Health care fraud steals funds from programs designed to benefit patients, and we all pay for it," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said. "Federal and state investigators have teamed up in recent months to detect and prosecute those who commit health care fraud, and we hope that the strength of our efforts will have a deterrent effect."

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...According to the indictment, the Patel pharmacies billed Medicare at least $37.7 million during the scheme, and at least $20.8 million was billed to Medicaid.


Holy Crap. :startle: I'm glad they got those people - the system is bad enough without stuff like that going on.

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Why would a patietnt be involved ? There must be more to this than meets the eye or the press explains as usually is the case . Pain contracts the Doctors require like devised by those at the Municple League ( that shouldnt be allowed because it forces one to give up all your legal rights to just get medicine you need if you dont give up your rights no medicine ..) ... require you go to one pharmacy . I know my current Doctor is honest period . I have a great pharmacy now as they go too .However this must scare them . What scares me is being so injured and the system can't figure it out or fix it and I am often reidiculed ( even by myself ) . You think the system is bad wait until you depend on foster or nursing care... thats where patients can be taken advantage of without them or their families being aware .


Opiates are a villianized now but psychotropic and other medications and the term complaince are what we as patients have to fear and where there is huge abiuse . Anytime a patient says no its abuse . No means NO . I would rather see a patient tried deemed insane then see one forced to take medication just to be tried against their will. Just try them then . Legislators need to make it so as well as create patient medication protections for continuence of care in jail awaiting trial and after as well as in normal care . .No patient should be cold turkeyed or have medication switched ever because of incarceration or a Doctor abusing them and it does happen now . Seeing Doctors stop medication of patients just for being on the program or they move and need care in their area that they always had . Thats a real crime and causes economic and spillover costs to patients and society .

Edited by Croppled1
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fyi; To help prevent a home invasions. Tear off, or black out, all labels on all pill bottles before throwing them away


Drug dealers have been known to have people hanging out at pharmacies asking people what they getting and if they want to sell it or, buy more.


When my Dr first prescribed Oxycodone I was standing on line at well known pharmacy in Mt.Clemens and a young man started up a conversation. Nothing out of the ordinary but when he learned what prescription I had he offered me $200.00 cash for the pills after I filled the order, 90 Oxycodone.


I told him no and asked to speak to the pharmacist about what just happened he left, and the police were called. I was detained in the security office while police and store security reviewed the surveillance video from the counter.


I was released but told when and if he's caught I could be subpoenaed to appear in court its been four years, can't hardly wait.


I was shocked at how clear and sharp the video was nothing like the stuff you see on the news. And the audio was so clear you could hear every single word without any problem, clear as a bell.

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Patel would offer and pay kickbacks, bribes, and other inducements to doctors in exchange for them writing prescriptions for patients with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

Drug company reps do this all the time. Whats the difference?



The government is working on it.






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