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The owner of a Detroit-area physical therapy clinic was sentenced to 11 years in prison today for his role in a drug diversion scheme.  

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Detroit Division and 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 made the announcement.

Malik Fuqua, 49, of Southfield, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Lawson of the Eastern District of Michigan, who also ordered Fuqua to forfeit $716,824.23.  In November 2019, Fuqua pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

As part of his guilty plea, Fuqua admitted that, as the owner and operator of  a physical therapy clinic, he conspired with Shirley Douglas, 70, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, and other co-conspirators to distribute medically unnecessary controlled substances, including oxycodone, oxymorphone, alprazolam, hydrocodone and promethazine hydrochloride, through the selling of appointments with physicians at their clinics.

The total drug amount attributable to Fuqua is in excess of 500,000 controlled substance pills.

This case was investigated by the DEA and HHS-OIG.  Trial Attorneys Malisa Dubal and Patrick Suter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. 

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.  Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner-detroit-area-health-care-clinic-sentenced-prison-drug-diversion-scheme

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