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Press Release

Detriot Area Doctors Charged with Illegal Distribution of Prescription Drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A superseding indictment was unsealed today charging three doctors and seven other individuals with conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge David A. Grant, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Detroit Field Division and Jared Koopman, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Charged in the superseding indictment are:

Dr. Boris Zigmond, D.C., 50, of West Bloomfield

Dr. Jennifer Franklin, M.D., 39, of Harrison Township

Dr. Carlos Godoy, M.D., 78, of Farmington Hills

Rodney Knight, 32, of Highland Park

Tara Marcia Jackson, 53, of Detroit

Sashanti Morris, 44, of Detroit

Anna Fradlis, 61, of West Bloomfield

Maryna Pitsenko, 46, of Sterling Heights

Svetlana Sribna, 64, of Sterling Heights

Marina Jacobs, 44, of West Bloomfield

The superseding indictment alleges that from January 2013 through May 2015, Zigmond was the leader of a large-scale prescription drug trafficking organization whose purpose was to secure written prescriptions from medical doctors for controlled substances, primarily Roxicodone, and its generic equivalent Oxycodone, that could be filled at various pharmacies. According to the superseding indictment, Zigmond’s organization distributed approximately 1 million pills and grossed approximately $5.7 million from trafficking these pills on the illegal street market. The prescriptions for these highly addictive drugs were written outside the course of usual medical practice and for no legitimate purpose. 

The superseding indictment further alleges that Zigmond, a chiropractor, did not see patients himself or write prescriptions but rather used co-defendants Rodney Knight, Tara Jackson and Sashanti Morris as “marketers” or “patient recruiters” who would pay money directly to Zigmond or Zigmond’s assistants, co-defendants Anna Fradlis, Maryna Pitsenko, Svetlana Sribna and Marina Jacobs who would then schedule appointments with co-defendants Dr. Franklin and Dr. Godoy. Each appointment cost $500-$600 cash and the “marketer” paid the money before a phony patient was seen by either Franklin or Godoy. 

“Diversion of prescription pills to the street market promotes the addiction to painkillers that leads to overdose deaths,” McQuade said. “We are focusing on charging doctors, pharmacists and the networks that are putting this poison on the streets.”

DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge David A. Grant stated, “The arrests today are just one example of DEA's determination and commitment to combat the troubling prescription drug abuse problem in this country. The doctors involved in this investigation abused their positions of trust and jeopardized the lives of many individuals by participating in the conspiracy to distribute nearly a million dosage units of controlled substances onto the streets of southeast Michigan and beyond.  These indictments should make it clear that the DEA and our law enforcement partners are focused on investigating and pursuing those that are illegally diverting prescription drugs into our communities.”

“Physicians who prescribe drugs to those without a medical purpose but rather for the known purpose of selling them on the street is extremely harmful to our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Jarod Koopman, IRS- CI.  “Where the law allows, we will continue to follow the money and seize the proceeds from those that profit at the expense of our neighborhoods.”

According to the superseding indictment, Zigmond set up office suites in several different locations in Oak Park, where co-defendants Franklin and Godoy would see fake patients and write the prescriptions.  Franklin, Godoy, Fradlis, Pitsenko, Sribna and Jacobs were paid by Zigmond.

​In addition to the drug conspiracy charge, Zigmond was also charged with money laundering and Knight was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The United States will pursue forfeiture of all proceeds and property traceable to the offenses charged.  

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the DEA and IRS.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wayne Pratt and Jonathan Grey.

Updated March 10, 2016

Drug Trafficking