LIVONIA, Mich. – The offices of a Livonia doctor were raided Wednesday after he was arrested in connection with a massive fraud scheme, officials said.
Dr. Frank Patino, 63, is well-known in fitness and mixed martial art circles and has published a book based on his “Patino diet.” He was arrested Wednesday morning, and his offices in Livonia, known as Patino Laboratories, were raided by federal authorities.
Patino is charged with defrauding Medicaid to the tune of $112 million by prescribing more than 2 million dangerous and addictive painkillers, including oxycodone and fentanyl. Because Patino gave the drugs to so many patients, he placed a security guard in the parking lot of his offices, police said.
People watching the raid on Wednesday said they weren’t surprised. Federal officials said many patients resold the painkillers on the streets.
“A lot of people in hard drugs start with pills,” resident Jenn Gorecki said. “Overprescribing is how they get on the street in the first place.”
Even while the raid was going down, patients kept trying to come in. Federal officials alleged that Patino used some of the fraudulent Medicaid reimbursements to fund his sponsorship of MMA fighters, putting his lab’s name on their shorts.
Monroe doctor charged
While Patino was in federal court Wednesday, he was joined in an unrelated case by Dr. Lesly Pompy, of Monroe who’s charged with pushing more than 6 million powerful and addictive pain pills while allegedly submitting $17 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Pompy, 57, is charged with unlawful distribution of prescription drugs and health care fraud, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said.
During that time frame, he also submitted claims totaling approximately $16,856,683 to Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield, officials said.
“The damage that the proliferation of opioid distribution has done to our community, like many across the United States, has been devastating,” Schneider said. “It’s particularly disturbing when the distributor is a medical professional.”
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