DETROIT (WXYZ) - US Attorney Barbara McQuade has announced charges against forty-four people in a health care fraud and drug distribution case.
The 13-count indictment is part of a case that involves prescription drugs like OxyContin, Opan and Vicondin. Among the charges filed in the case are money laundering and felons in possession of firearms.
Among those charged are Sardar Ashrafkhan, Deepak Kumar, John Check and David Vezzossi. Prosecutors say they provided kickbacks, bribes and other illegal benefits to doctors in order to have them write prescriptions for patients with Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.
Prosecutors say those patients were then recruited into the scheme by patient recruiters who would pay kickbacks and bribes to the patients in exchange for the patients' permission to bill their insurance for medications or services that were either unnecessary of never provided.
Prosecutors say the prescriptions were presented to pharmacist Ahab Elmadhoun at Sav-Max, pharmacist Waleed Yaghmour at Sav-Mart, pharmacists Krima Patel and and manager Sanjay Patel at Atrium or pharmacist Jayshriben Gandhi and manager Guarang Gandhi at Caremax for filling.
Prosecutors say many times those prescriptions were either filled without regard for their medical necessity or insurers were billed without the medications being dispensed at all.
The indictment further charges that drugs were distributed and money was laundered as part of the scheme.
Those charged in the indictment are:
“The merger of health care fraud and drug trafficking is a disturbing trend that is not only robbing taxpayers, but also fueling addictions to prescription drugs,” US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade said in a news release. “Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic, with more Americans dying from overdoses than from gunshot wounds.”
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