Rare harp seized in case involving shrink, sex and pimp
A Southfield psychiatrist bought a rare 19th Century harp with cash generated from his lucrative drug ring that traded prescription pills for sex with adult entertainers, according to federal court records.
Federal agents seized the French harp, cash, paintings, sculptures and vases during an ongoing investigation of the psychiatrist, Mamoun Dabbagh. The U.S. Attorney’s Office asked a federal judge Monday to have the cash and antiques forfeited to the government, saying they were purchased with money from drug crimes.
The civil filing is the latest legal problem for Dabbagh, 60, who is accused in a separate lawsuit of providing Adderall and another drug to a pimp who used the medication to control a prostitute.
Dabbagh has not been charged with a crime during an ongoing investigation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“It is against our policy to comment on an ongoing investigation,” DEA spokesman Rich Isaacson said Monday.
Dabbagh could not be reached for comment Monday.
The DEA investigation is focused on allegations Dabbagh knowingly prescribed pills to patients who paid cash and later sold the drugs on the street.
Investigators said the psychiatrist prescribed a large volume of opiate painkillers and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax in high doses.
In 2013, Dabbagh prescribed more than 50,000 doses of opiate-based pain medication, court records show.
“Opiate painkillers are not normally prescribed by psychiatrists in significant volume,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Kuebler wrote.
A confidential source told investigators Dabbagh charged $75 cash to write prescriptions even though the source did not have a medical need for the medication, according to court records.
The psychiatrist would charge new patients $150 cash for an initial visit, $75 for follow-up appointments and $75 for each prescription, the source alleged.
The confidential source socialized with Dabbagh. The two would frequent adult entertainment clubs and Dabbagh would “write prescriptions for controlled substances to female employees in exchange for sexual favors,” the source said.
“Dabbagh would bring his prescription pad, contained in a fanny pack, into the adult entertainment clubs,” the source added.
A second source told investigators Dabbagh would write prescriptions for strippers.
“Investigation revealed that the female employees would trade sexual favors for these prescriptions,” Kuebler wrote.
The alleged activity was lucrative, the prosecutor alleged.
“Investigation revealed that cash collected during the day at Dr. Dabbagh’s office amounted to thousands of dollars and possibly in excess of $10,000,” the prosecutor wrote.
On Oct. 20, 2014, DEA agents raided Dabbagh’s office on Ryan Road in Warren and seized $12,186 from his desk.
The same day, agents also raided his luxury, high-rise condominium at 5000 Town Center in Southfield.
Inside, agents seized the 19th Century harp, a 1960 French-style bronze and marble clock, seven paintings, four metallic sculptures, 34 crystal vases and eight figurines, according to court records.
The value of the items was not included in the court filing Monday.
A 19th Century French harp in museum-quality condition could be worth about $50,000, said Brittany DeYoung, an Ypsilanti harp teacher and member of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.
“Some of those were gilded in gold on the columns and had hand-painted sound boards and a lot of ornate carvings,” DeYoung said.
Dabbagh lived in the same high-rise as Mark White, an alleged pimp and sex trafficker who fatally shot himself in May 2013 as members of an FBI task force raided the condo.
The task force members were investigating a sex trafficking ring operating throughout southeast Michigan. A female victim reported the enterprise to the Southfield Police Department, stating she had been held against her will and forced to do sex acts.
The woman sued Dabbagh in February in federal court, alleging the psychiatrist gave White psychotropic medication.
White forced her to take Adderall and other pills so she would have sex with up to a dozen men a day, according to the lawsuit.
The psychiatrist knowingly benefited from the sex trafficking, the woman alleged.
“(The woman) suffered and continues to suffer significant harm as a result of Dabbagh’s misconduct, including physical, mental and sexual abuse while being trafficked; humiliation and degradation; physical, psychological and emotional effects of the drugs; fear; distrust; anger; frustration; and other psychological and emotional harm,” the woman’s lawyer Nakisha Chaney wrote in the lawsuit.
The woman is suing for unspecified economic damages.
A trial is set for Sept. 6, 2016 in federal court in Detroit.
In a court filing, Dabbagh denied the woman’s allegations.
The drugs helped the woman, Dabbagh’s lawyer Stephen Ryan wrote.
She managed to escape from White and notify the police after taking the drugs, he wrote.
“These better decisions...resulted in her freedom from White,” the lawyer wrote.