• Ronald Chapman, LL.M.

19 Detroit Healthcare Professionals Indicted for Unlawful Prescribing

Ronald W. Chapman II @RonChapmanAtty is a healthcare defense attorney and specializes in representing physicians and other health professional in government investigations and indictments related to the practice of medicine. He speaks nationally on the topic and has appeared in national publications. He obtains frequent victories for his clients facing government scrutiny. To learn more about Ron click here.


The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan indicted nineteen healthcare professionals today, June 11, 2020. See Indictment Below.


United States v. Rankin
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The indictment alleges that between September 2017 and June 2020 the Defendants engaged in a scheme involving the unlawful distribution of opioids. The indictment alleges that the conspiracy was between medical clinics, rehab centers and pharmacies involving nearly two million controlled substances of a value of over $41 million. The Indictment alleges over forty-four independent violations of 21 U.S.C. 841(a) and it also alleges that the nineteen defendants engaged in a conspiracy to violate 21 U.S.C. 846 - controlled substance conspiracy. The indictment was issued by Detroit's Healthcare Fraud Unit and will be prosecuted by Brandy McMillion and Mitra Jafary-Hariri, two federal prosecutors in that division. The Detroit Healthcare Fraud Unit is very experienced at prosecuting healthcare fraud and opioid trafficking cases.


All defendants are innocent until proven guilty and prior experience with the Detroit Healthcare Fraud unit has revealed that it aggressively charges healthcare practices on the basis of statistics rather than actual patient care. This practice is a new tactic by the DOJ and can lead to charging errors and unnecessary government scrutiny.


In order to convict health professional for unlawful distribution of controlled substances (sometimes referred to as running a pill mill) the Government must prove that the physicians prescribed controlled substances for "other than a legitimate medical purpose and outside the course of professional practice". This is a very difficult standard to meet. The Government must show that prescriptions were not for pain but rather in order to achieve some other unlawful purpose.


To Learn More About the Standard See Our Resources Page Here


To Learn More About the History of the Controlled Substance Act Click Here


Defense of unlawful distribution charges requires a focused defense that highlights the patient care provided to each individual patient and knowledge of Federal Drug Laws, CDC Guidelines for Prescribing, and the standards of practice for pain management (ASIPP, ASAM, etc.). As this case progresses, there are sure to be a significant number of Michigan pain patients separated from their provider. Often, prosecutors and the DEA fail to consider this fact because they believe that all prescriptions issued in such a practice are unlawful.


To Learn More About Government Prosecution Tricks Click Here


Before agreeing to any plea to unlawful distribution, a physician must consult with an experienced healthcare defense attorney who understands the law, medicine, and applicable standards. If you are a provider facing Government scrutiny read this before considering a plea of guilty.


The case is pending before Judge Bernard Friedman and Magistrate David R. Grand. More updates to follow.


Ronald W. Chapman II@RonChapmanAtty is a healthcare defense attorney and specializes in representing physicians and other health professional in government investigations and indictments related to the practice of medicine. He speaks nationally on the topic and has appeared in national publications. He obtains frequent victories for his clients facing government scrutiny.


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