Pharmacist, entrepreneur charged in $1.2 million health care fraud

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Haytham Fakih, 53, of Dearborn faces criminal charges for prescribing medication to dead people and billing Medicaid and Medicare for the medicine.

The $1.2 million health care fraud investigation into Trudell Pharmacy, 5711 Schaefer Road, started in 2012 when Fakih allegedly billed for asthma, acid reflex, bipolar disorder, arthritis, shingles, COPD and inflammatory medications never delivered to patients.

Fakih appeared in federal court Dec. 30 and was released after he posted a $10,000 bond, but faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of fraud. He is scheduled to be in court for a preliminary examination of the evidence against him on Jan. 16.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan on Dec. 29 states, “Fakih, while owning and operating Trudell, fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid for expensive medication that was not dispensed to beneficiaries.”

It continues to say, “Trudell did not have sufficient drug inventory to dispense several expensive medications billed to Medicare and Medicaid.”

The five drugs with those largest shortages were Advair, Diskus, Celebrex, Nexium and Spiriva, according to WXYZ Channel 7.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agent Michael Pemberton explained that Fakih submitted false and fraudulent claims, through interstate wires from Michigan to Medicare and Medicaid that were processed and adjudicated electronically by CVS Caremark, OptumRX, and Express Scripts, among other PBMs, outside the state of Michigan.

According to the Detroit News, in September, the FBI seized cash from multiple bank accounts connected to Fakih and his Dearborn Heights house including $181,725 found inside his 2015 Lexus.
Agents also seized $18,583 from a bank account belonging to South Ford Road Investments. That same company owns the first halal Sonic Drive-In, 10403 Ford Road, which Fakih opened in August. Fakih also owns the Tim Hortons, 10401 Ford Road.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)

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