The federal government takes drug-related criminal accusations seriously, and authorities prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law. A Michigan doctor is facing serious legal repercussions for his role in the illegal distribution of opioid medication and false billings worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He was recently sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for the drug charges and billing fraud, and the prosecution says that he was the leader of this operation that involved almost two dozen people.
The serious consequences of fraudulent claims
Over the course of the operation, federal authorities say that the doctor submitted over $250 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance programs. They also said that he prescribed and injected opioid injections to patients who did not need them or were struggling with addiction issues. The prosecution also introduced evidence that the doctor engaged in money laundering.
The doctor and others engaged in these operations did so through several medical offices and laboratories throughout Michigan. The doctor required patients to receive unnecessary back injections in order to receive a prescription for pain, after which he would bill insurance for the shots. Prosecutors said that he needlessly exposed patients to a higher chance of addiction issues because due to his prescriptions for opioid medications.
Defense options and the rights of defendants
Fraud and federal drug charges carry the potential for serious penalties. While this doctor is facing a lengthy prison sentence, he had the right to defend himself at every step of the criminal justice system. Even after a conviction, he was entitled to fight for more lenient sentencing. When there is a lot at stake, the help of an experienced federal defense attorney is crucial.