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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Detroit Area Pharmacist Convicted of Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances in a Three Year Opioid Drug Diversion Conspiracy

A Detroit area pharmacist was convicted yesterday in federal court in Detroit on charges of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and individual counts of unlawful distribution of opioids, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced today. 

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; and Special Agent in Charge Steven D’Antuono, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Abidoun Fabode, R.Ph., 57, of Chesterfield, was convicted after a two-week trial on five counts charged in the indictment, including one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and four substantive counts of unlawful distribution.

The evidence presented during trial demonstrated that from January 2015 through March 2018, Fabode, who co-owned and operated Friendz Pharmacy in Detroit, dispensed more than 245,080 unit dosages of controlled substances which were issued outside the course of legitimate medical practice and for no legitimate medical purpose.  The opioid prescriptions were presented to the defendant by patient recruiters who obtained the pills either from doctors willing to write unnecessary controlled substance prescriptions or people engaged in creating fake prescriptions.   Fabode, fully knowing the illegitimacy of these prescriptions, dispensed the extremely dangerous and addictive opioids, including Oxycodone and Oxymorphone, in exchange for cash payments totaling in excess of $1,895,000.  The pills were then later resold on the street market by the pill dealers, and carry a conservative estimated wholesale street value of $7 million.

Five other co-defendants, including pharmacists Enitan Sodiya-Ogundipe of Global Health Pharmacy in Pontiac; pharmacist Amir Rafi of Precare Pharmacy in Redford; Dr. Vasan Deshikachar; and pill dealers Niesheia and Andrei Tibu; all pled guilty to the conspiracy late last year.  They are each set to be sentenced for their roles in this opioid drug diversion scheme in the coming months.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brandy R. McMillion and A. Brant Cook.  McMillion serves as the District’s Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Prosecutor as well as the Deputy-Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit.  The Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Unit is a Department of Justice initiative designating twelve special prosecutors across the country to focus on prosecuting medical professionals that are contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis.  The case was investigated by special agents and task force officers of the DEA, the Oakland Country Sheriff’s Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

 

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Updated January 13, 2020