Feds bust large Medicare-Medicaid prescription drug fraud ring

Feds bust large Medicare-Medicaid prescription drug fraud ring

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"We really wanted to call attention to a disturbing trend," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. "We really wanted to call attention to a disturbing trend," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The feds bust a huge drug ring.  They say it involved doctors who wrote bogus Medicare or Medicaid prescriptions for pain pills that ended up for sale by street gangs.  The operation reached from the Motor City all the way to the southern border of Ohio and beyond.

I heard about this operation last year and told you about a small part of it in my Problem Solver investigation last December.  Now, federal agents are going after one of the alleged masterminds of that operation.

Compassionate Doctor in Southfield is the place where a man that called himself Dr. Khan runs a home visiting doctor service.  However, Dr. Khan is in trouble for being a con as in con man.

The doctor, whose real name is Sardar Ashrafkhan, is one of 57 defendants busted by the feds in a giant Medicare and Medicaid prescription drug fraud ring.

"We really wanted to call attention to a disturbing trend that we are seeing that's demonstrated in both of these cases, and it's emerging between healthcare fraud committed by doctors and the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, which is contributing to the abuse that we're seeing on the streets," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

She said the scheme netted $40 million of Medicaid and Medicare money using a network of dirty doctors, fishy pharmacists and even low level drug runners, who took the drugs to places like Ohio to sell on the streets.

"The indictments include charges against ten doctors, eight pharmacists, a physician's assistant and the owners and operators of pharmacies, clinics and home healthcare agencies," McQuade said.

One of the doctors that worked for Dr. Khan at one time was Raafat Shehata.  In December, I found Shehata caught up in another sketchy home visiting doctor organization.  Telemarketers in Portage, Michigan would cold call seniors asking if they wanted a doctor to visit.  Then a man, who called himself Dr. Abraham, would send out Shehata to call on vulnerable seniors, seniors who said there was no doctoring going on, just questioning to get their Medicaid and Medicare numbers.  They all ran when I confronted them and closed shop the next day.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence Haugabook said our investigation shows the prevalence of this practice.

"We just appreciate everything that our media partners do to assist us in law enforcement in bringing things to our attention such as your investigative piece earlier.  We appreciate the work that you all do and what the public contributes, as well," he said.

The men I featured in my story last December were not charged in Wednesday's big bust.  The U.S. Attorney's Office says there could be more charges coming.

The man known as Dr. Khan was someone I had been investigating at the time of the other story because of his association with at least one of the men featured in my story.

The feds say Dr. Khan demanded kickbacks, bribes and other inducements from pharmacies among other felonies, including possessing controlled substances with intent to distribute and healthcare fraud conspiracy.  The people in his office said they know nothing about any of that.

The feds say Khan and the others charged are big players in a home healthcare scheme that seems to be especially bad here in metro Detroit.

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