A doctor from Superior Township, Michigan was sentenced yesterday to 84 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy to distribute prescription pills illegally, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.
Dr. Abbey Akinwumi, age 55, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.
Dr. Akinwumi operated a medical clinic in Detroit, Michigan. During his plea, he admitted that he issued more than 500,000 dosage units of Roxicodone (oxycodone HCl), approximately 300,000 dosage units of Opana (oxymorphone) and more than 2 million dosage units of Hydrocodone outside the course of legitimate medical practice and without any medical justification. The prescriptions were issued after either a cursory examination or without any examination at all. Dr. Akinwumi then billed Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for medically unnecessary procedures, to include drainage of an abscess and wound repair. Once the prescriptions were filled, the pills were sold on the street market.
Oxycodone HCl, oxyorphone, and hydrocodone are all scheduled II controlled substances that may be prescribed by medical professionals only for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of a doctor’s professional practice. They are powerful and highly addictive drugs and are increasingly abused because of their potential to provide a heroin-like euphoria.
In addition to imprisonment, Dr. Akinwumi was ordered to forfeit various assets.
“More people die in America every year from prescription drug overdoses than from overdoses of all other drugs combined,” McQuade said. “In addition, prescription drug addiction has led to resurgence in heroin use. Physicians who divert prescription drugs to the street market are contributing to this epidemic, and we are focusing our enforcement efforts on stopping them.”
"Dr. Akinwumi's actions were reprehensible," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit Division. "Not only were his acts a betrayal of his profession, but he did great disservice to insurers, to patients, and to those whose addictions he help perpetuate."
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Regina R. McCullough. She was assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Beck of the Forfeiture Section.