DETROIT (WXYZ) - 26 medical professionals are named in an indictment that accuses them of a massive drug and health care scheme. Among the indicted are doctors and pharmacists.
Federal agents arrested 20 of the 26 medical professionals named in the indictment Tuesday morning.
20 pharmacies were raided by U.S. DEA agents across the state. That included Nobel Care Pharmacy on Lahser in Southfield, and another office in Warren.
They fall under the ownership of 49-year old Babubhai Patel of Canton. Patel is being named as the ringleader in a massive drug and health care scheme that defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of almost $60 million dollars. Some private insurances companies were defrauded as well.
Among those named in the indictment are 4 doctors, 12 pharmacists, 1 accountant and 1 psychologist.
"Mr. Patel would offer inducements and bribes and things to these pharmacists and doctors participate in the scheme," said Special Agent Richard Isaacson with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Isaacson said the network of medical professionals preyed on weak patients to help do the dirty work. The exact number of patients recruited is not known, but officials imagine it to be a large group.
"He'd be written a bogus script, go to one of the pharmacists involved in the overall conspiracy, get it filled, and then turn that over to the recruiter and receive small amount of money for it," said Special Agent Isaacson.
Some of the prescriptions were written for at least 250,000 doses of Oxycontin, 4.6 million doses of Vicodin and 1.5 million doses of Xanax. Agents were first tipped off to the scheme in 2009, but it is unclear how far back it really goes. Authorities believe Patel's alleged scheme reaches across the Midwest. It's believed that many of these drugs are being sold on the black market and back on the street.
Patel remains in the custody of U.S. Marshals pending a detention hearing Wednesday.
READ THE PRESS RELEASE ABOUT THE CASE BELOW