Ex-Madison Hts. doctor in drug scam gets 6 years
A former doctor from Madison Heights has been sentenced to more than six years for illegally prescribing $15 million in drugs and bilking Medicare out of $6 million, federal officials said.
Rodney Moret, 67, has been sentenced to 75 months in prison for participating in conspiracies to illegally distribute prescription pills and to defraud Medicare, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Matthew Schneider said in a statement.
Authorities estimate Moret was responsible for illegally distributing more than 700,000 doses of hydrocodone, more than 240,000 doses of alprazolam, and more than 2 million milliliters of promethazine with codeine cough syrup — all worth more than $15 million on the street market.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman handed down Moret's sentence Tuesday, according to Schneider. Moret had pleaded guilty to the crimes.
The State of Michigan revoked Moret's license last March because of the allegations, federal officials said.
Authorities said the former doctor worked at a Southfield medical clinic called Advance Care Services where he wrote prescriptions for controlled substances for fake patients.
Once the prescriptions were filled, people working with Moret sold the drugs on the street across southeast Michigan, officials said.
He also billed Medicare for examinations and tests that were not conducted or not conducted properly, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He was responsible for more than $6 million in health care fraud, officials said.
In addition, Moret sexually assaulted or harassed many of the clinic's female patients, officials said.
Officials said investigators determined the clinic operated between 2010 and 2015.
Moret was one of five defendants named in a multi-count indictment unsealed in February 2016. All of the defendants, including the owner and manager of the clinic, entered guilty pleas for either conspiracy to distribute prescription pills or conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
“Rodney Moret, a former physician, intentionally fueled the local opioid epidemic by overprescribing addictive medications to patients for his own personal gain,” Timothy Waters, acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit Division, said in a statement.
“The message should be clear, any doctor or healthcare professional who prioritizes profit or does harm to their patients under the guise of providing health care will be subject to the full investigative resources of the FBI and our law enforcement partners.”