Michigan Physician Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances
A Detroit-area physician pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances for his participation in a scheme to unlawfully distribute more than 23,000 pills of Oxycodone.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Timothy Slater of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, 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 Timothy J. Plancon of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Detroit Field Office made the announcement.
Alex Kafi, M.D., 70, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances before U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts of the Eastern District of Michigan. Sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 9, 2019 before Judge Roberts.
As part of his guilty plea, Kafi admitted that from 2013 through May 2017, he engaged in a scheme where he wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions for Oxycodone in exchange for cash. Kafi wrote these fraudulent prescriptions often without ever meeting or communicating with the patient. Instead, Kafi conspired with patient marketers, who provided lists of patients to Kafi, along with $300 per prescription of Oxycodone. Kafi admitted the scheme involved approximately 693,000 mg of Oxycodone and he agreed to forfeit $617,208.00, which were proceeds of his criminal activity.
This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the DEA. Trial Attorney Steven Scott of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is 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. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations nationwide. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.