Seventeen-Year Sentence Awaits Healthcare Fraud Pharmacist
After billing the government for more than $57 million worth of medically unnecessary painkillers, Babubhai (Bob) Patel now faces 17 years in prison.
Owning and operating more than 26 pharmacies across metro Detroit, Patel had a myriad of doctors at his fingertips. He paid such doctors to write orders and had recruiters offer cash to lower-income individuals in exchange for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.
The scheme operated on a business model that paid kickbacks to physicians in exchange for their writing prescriptions for expensive – and unneeded – medications. As a result, between 2006 and 2011, Patel billed Medicare and Medicaid for over $57 million. At least 25 percent of those billings were for drugs that were never dispensed or were unnecessary to begin with. Not only did Patel take advantage of the government, but he also fraudulently billed to private insurers, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
In addition to the years Patel will face behind bars, he has also been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $17.3 million to Medicaid and Medicare, as well as an additional $1.5 million to Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“What you have done,” the court told Patel, “is reprehensible.”
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