Dentist illegally prescribes medication, goes to prison

An Upper Peninsula county sheriff department received information that a dentist was illegally prescribing hydrocodone, oxycodone and diazepam for his patients and other individuals. The sheriff contacted the Marquette office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and requested their assistance. The FBI then contacted the Corporate and Financial Investigations department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to investigate the claims submitted to us for these drugs.

The U.S. Attorneys Office and FBI requested that the CFI department determine which patients received prescriptions for these drugs, and a search warrant was executed to examine the treatment records. During the investigation, it was determined that there was no medical necessity for the use of these drugs in some instances. Additionally, prescriptions had been written for people who were not patients. The evidence and witness statements were presented to a grand jury, and a 50-count warrant was issued. The felony charges were punishable by 10 years to life in prison and up to a $14 million dollar fine.

In late 2010, the dentist pleaded guilty to one count of illegal distribution of hydrocodone. He was sentenced to prison and fined.

Members who suspect health care fraud are urged to call our Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787, or report fraud through our website.

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