Seven individuals from Dearborn, MI and another three other individuals from Dearborn Heights, MI have been charged with many counts of pharmaceutical fraud because they allegedly participated in an insurance scam that scammed the system out of a stunning $46 million.
State Attorney Matthew Schneider has charged Dearborn residents Mohamad Abou-Khodr, 30; Nabil Chehadeh, 39; Ali El-Moussawi, 29; Bassem Farhat, 46; Hussein Wazne, 50; Bahia Zeidan, 28; and Suzan Berro, 20, as well as Dearborn Heights residents Hussein Abdallah, 36; Daniel Haidar, 30; and Linda Fawaz, 25, with the heinous crime.
The diverse group of suspects have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges including mail fraud, money laundering, and wire fraud. The government alleges that the 10 individuals garnered over $46 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims between January 2014 and November 2019.
“The indictment alleges that the defendants brazenly took advantage of programs created by drug manufacturers to help defray the cost of expensive prescription drugs, all in a scheme to steal millions of dollars,” Schneider said.
“At a time when so many Michiganders are struggling to afford their medications, this alleged scheme is especially reprehensible. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to uncover and prosecute prescription drug fraud, so we can ensure these assistance programs remain available to help the people of Michigan,” he added.
Schneider made the announcement of the indictment alongside Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office and Steven M. D’Antuono, special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office.
“The defendants are alleged to have defrauded a program designed to help patients pay for vital and often high-cost prescription drugs,” D’Antuono said. “I am impressed by the efforts of the FBI, HHS-OIG, and DEA agents who worked tirelessly to uncover the extent of this fraud and to hold these defendants to account.”
The indictment states that the multicultural suspects were allegedly operating dozens of pharmacies in the metropolitan Detroit area, primarily in Wayne County, although they were never actually opened to the public. They are accused of using these fronts to graft insurance cash by submitting falsified claims to co-pay assistance programs that were never bought nor distributed.
Authorities allegedly became wise to the scheme after claim administrators requested additional documentation or pharmacy audits. The defandents repeatedly stonewalled the requests and refused to submit internal audits, which arose further suspicion according to investigators.
The following pharmacies are accused of participating in the illicit scheme:
• New Boston RX Pharmacy in Huron Township
• Pro Med Pharmacy, Guardian Pharmacy, Wellmart Pharmacy, and Brite Well RX in Garden City
• Downriver RX Pharmacy, and First Aid Pharmacy, in Lincoln Park
• Newburgh Pharmacy, Med Health Pharmacy, and Ritemed Pharmacy in Westland
• Crittenton RX and Metro RX Pharmacy in Sterling Heights
• Family Health Pharmacy in Southgate
• Mint Pharmacy, Wellgreen’s Pharmacy (a/k/a Danny’s Pharmacy) in Westland
• Levan RX, Nova Pharmacy, and Smart Pharmacy in Livonia
• Clinic RX2, Med Rite Pharmacy, and Smart RX Pharmacy in Dearborn Heights
• Dalcoma Pharmacy in Clinton Township
• Canton RX and Michigan RX Pharmacy in Canton
• Safe Pharmacy in Taylor
• Quest RX, and Sam Pharmacy RX, in Novi
• Wayne Pharma, Wyandotte RX (a/k/a Royal RX) in Wyandotte
The fruits of diversity are at hand, and Americans are paying the price for lax immigration policy in myriad ways.
Gray Wolves Spotted in Central California for the First Time in a Century
Wolves are traveling from Oregon to Central California.
A gray wolf (canis lupus) has been observed in counties of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, with the animal returning to territory from which it’s been absent from for nearly a century. The GPS-tracked wolf, designated OR-93, has traveled south from Oregon, passing through Modoc County and Alpine County. Most recently, the wolf entered Mono County.
The journey of the young male wolf represents new territorial range from the species. Biologists believe it’s possible the wolf’s presence could result in the formation of new wolf packs in the Sierra Nevada region, should the animal prove successful in returning to the area with a mate. The wolf broke off from Oregon’s White River Pack southeast of Mt. Hood sometime within the past few months. Previously, wolves that ventured into California from Oregon didn’t travel south of Lake Tahoe, the single largest alpine lake in North America, that straddles the California-Nevada border.
“OR-93’s historic trek so far south into California’s central Sierra Nevada is thrilling news for wolf recovery throughout the West,” said Pamela Flick, director of the California preservation group Defenders of Wildlife. “OR-93 also importantly brings the potential for increased genetic diversity to our state.”
Wolves were dealt with as pestilence during the American settlement of the western United States, and the animals still pose a threat to the livestock of ranchers to this day. The animals were eliminated from the state of California entirely sometime in the 1920’s, and a gray wolf was seen in California for the first time in almost a century in 2011.
Wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare, although if the population is restored in Eastern California, farmers and ranchers will have to find deterrents for threats to their livestock. The presence of wolves in the region can serve as a benefit to the local ecosystem, assisting to keep the population levels of destructive animals in check.
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