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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 19, 2013

Suspended Doctor Sentenced For Illegally Dispensing Millions Of Pills At Area Weight Loss Clinics, As Well As Tax Evasion With Wife

U.S. Department of Justice

UnitedStatesAttorney

NorthernDistrictof Illinois

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GaryS. Shapiro EverettMcKinleyDirksenUnitedStatesCourthouse

UnitedStatesAttorney219SouthDearbornStreet,5thFloor

HAMMOND,Ind.—Asuspendedphysician whoownedweightlossclinicsinnorthwest IndianaandsouthsuburbanChicagowassentencedtotwoyearsinfederalprisonforillegally dispensingmillionsofpillscontainingamphetamine-basedcontrolledsubstancestopatients,and heandhiswifewerealsosentencedforfederalincometaxevasionrelatingtotheiroperationof theclinics.Thedefendants,DR.RAKESHANANDandMEENAANAND,whoownedand managedDoctorsWeightLossClinicsinMerrillville, Ind.,andTinleyParkandOrlandParkin Illinois, werealsoordered topay$745,872inrestitution totheIRSfromnearly$5.2million that was seizedfromthemandorderedforfeited.

Rakesh Anand ,57,a suspendedphysicianinIllinoisandwhowasalsolicensedinIndiana, andhiswife,MeenaAnand,53,bothofTinleyPark,weresentenced yesterday byU.S.District JudgeJosephS.VanBokkeleninFederalCourtinHammondafterbothdefendantspleadedguilty inJanuary. TheU.S.Attorney’sOfficeinChicagoishandlingtheprosecutionintheNorthern DistrictofIndiana.JudgeVanBokkelenfinedRakeshAnand$750,000andorderedhim tobegin


serving histwo-yearsentenceonAug.30.MeenaAnandwasfined$100,000andorderedto beginservingher30-daysentenceon Sept.3.

Inadditiontothefines,forfeiture,andrestitution, theAnandsremaincivillyliabletothe InternalRevenueServiceforanyandallbacktaxesandacivilfraudpenaltyofupto75percent of theunderpaymentplusinterest.

TheAnandshadagreed,andthejudgeorderedthem,topayrestitution of$745,872tothe IRSfortaxestheyowedonnearly $2millionofunreportedincomebetween2005and2008. The restitutionistobepaidfromfundsfrozeninabrokerageaccountwhentheAnandswereindicted inAugust2011. Inaddition,theyagreedtoforfeitmorethan$4.45millioninadditionalfunds thatwerefrozenorseizedduringtheinvestigation,bringingtonearly$5.2millionthetotal amountof funds beingappliedtoforfeitureandrestitution.

Rakesh Anand admittedthatbetweenJanuary2002andFebruary2010,heandanother physician, Dr.DineshSaraiya,purchased anddispensedmorethan1millionpillscontaining Phendimetrazine,aScheduleIIIcontrolledsubstance,andmorethan3millionpillscontaining Phentermine,aScheduleIVcontrolledsubstance.TheAnandsgrossedmorethan$5million fromtheiroperationof thethreeweightloss clinics.

(Saraiya,75,ofTinleyPark,cooperated inthecaseandpleadedguiltytoconspiracy to distributecontrolledsubstances. Heisscheduled tobesentenced onJuly30inFederalCourtin Chicago.)

Accordingto court records,between2002 and February2010, RakeshAnand hired Saraiya,whoagreedwithhimtoillegallydispensetheamphetamine-basedcontrolledsubstances asweightlossmedicationstopatientswithoutperformingphysicalexaminationsoranymedical


tests ,andwithoutreviewingpatients’records, obtaining acomplete medicalhistory,orproviding anysubsequentmonitoring. Inreturn,RakeshAnandpaidSaraiyabasedonhowmanypatients hesawandhowmanypillshedispensedtopatientsonadailybasis.Indispensing the medications,RakeshAnandandSaraiyafailedtodeterminewhetherpatientshadfirstmadea reasonableefforttoloseweightthroughdietandexercise, aprerequisite toprescribingcontrolled substancesforweightloss. Insomeinstances,RakeshAnandemployedclerkstodispensethe controlledsubstanceseventhoughhewas notpresentandhadnotconsultedwiththem.

Duringthecourseoftheinvestigation, severalundercoverlawenforcementagents, including twowithslightbuildsandbodymassindexeswellbelowtheobesitylevel,purchased controlledsubstancesattheclinicswithoutanyof theappropriatemedicalprotocols.

The sentences were announcedby Gary S. Shapiro,United States Attorney for the NorthernDistrictofIllinois.Theinvestigation wasconductedbytheFederalBureauof Investigation, theDrugEnforcementAdministration,theInternalRevenueServiceCriminal InvestigationDivision,theFood andDrug AdministrationandtheIndianaStatePolice.

Thegovernment isbeingrepresentedbyAssistantU.S.AttorneysMatthewSchneider, DianeBerkowitz,andOrest Szewciw.

Updated April 30, 2015