March 18, 2015
Contact: Special Agent Cheryl Davis
Phone Number: (313) 234-4000
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Doctors And Owner Of Pain Management Clinic Charged With Illegally Distributing Controlled Substance Prescription Drugs
Meghnot Comprehensive Center for Hope refused to accept medical insurance from patients and demanded $250 in cash for each visit
DETROIT - The owner, office manager and three doctors associated with a pain management clinic located on the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti border were indicted yesterday for illegally distributing prescription pills, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Joseph P. Reagan of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division, and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Federal agents arrested the owner and operator of the Meghnot Comprehensive Center for Hope, (Bubbie) Meghnot, as well as office manager (Jerry) Alcala-Rivera and current clinic physician, Dr. Anthony Conrardy. The arrests took place following the execution of a search warrant at the Clinic. The indictment also charges former Meghnot Clinic physicians Dr. William McCutchen, III, and Dr. Sharadchandra Patel.
The 17-count indictment alleges that between September 2011, and March 2015, the defendants conspired to unlawfully prescribe controlled substances, including oxycodone. According to the indictment, Meghnot hired staff and recruited doctors to prescribe controlled substances outside the scope of normal medical practice and for no legitimate medical purpose to patients who had no medical necessity for the drugs.
Each of the doctors charged in the indictment prescribed hundreds of thousands of dosage units of controlled substances to their respective “pain patients.” The indictment further alleges that the Meghnot Clinic refused to take any medical insurance from its patients and instead charged $250 in cash per visit regardless of the amount of time spent with the doctor or the purpose of the consultation, which the indictment alleges was to distribute unlawfully prescribed controlled substances.
United States Attorney McQuade commended the combined efforts of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health and Human Services, who were aided by local law enforcement agencies in this investigation.
A conviction on the unlawful prescription drug distribution conspiracy and certain other counts in the Indictment carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison or a $1,000,000 fine, or both. Any sentence would ultimately be imposed under the United States Sentence Guidelines according to the nature of the offense and the criminal background, if any, of the defendant.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.
The investigation in this case is being conducted by special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kalil II. -