Federal investigators have charged 26 people in Michigan with running a conspiracy to collect more than $58 million in fraudulent billings and divert more than 6 million doses of medications, some of which were used as kickbacks to persuade Medicare patients to provide their beneficiary numbers for the billing scheme.
Feds charge 26 in Mich. Medicare scam
A federal grand jury indicted Canton, Mich., pharmacist Babubhai Patel, 49, for allegedly operating a network of 26 corrupt pharmacies around the state that engaged in overlapping fraud schemes involving the payment of kickbacks and bribes to physicians and patients to induce the writing of medically unnecessary prescriptions.
The 31-page indictment (PDF) says Patel bribed doctors with money to write prescriptions to patients without medical need for opiates and other often-abused pharmaceuticals. The patients, who were told to fill the prescriptions at one of Patel's pharmacies, would then receive the drugs in exchange for allowing the pharmacy to bill Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers for other medications that were either not rendered or not necessary.
Also charged in the scheme were four physicians, 10 pharmacists and a host of business associates and alleged patient recruiters, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Detroit.
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