Hearing postponed for Mullin’s brother

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — Turkia Mullin’s brother was expected to plead guilty Wednesday for his role in a lucrative prescription drug scheme before the hearing was postponed in federal court.

Hussein “Sam” Awada was scheduled to plead guilty at 11 a.m. Wednesday in front of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, but the hearing was adjourned Tuesday morning. Awada was charged two years ago after FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the doctor’s Royal Oak home and medical offices across Metro Detroit.

The raids played out as the FBI continued a wide-ranging separate corruption probe of Mullin, the former Detroit Metropolitan Airport CEO, and Wayne County economic development director.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told The News last month that prosecutors are close to announcing whether anyone else will be charged in the Wayne County corruption investigation.

Awada, 45, was accused of writing prescriptions to phony patients for powerful pain medication, billing for treatments to dead patients and pocketing $50,000 a month in a scheme involving his Warren-based offices, Midwest Family Practice.

His defense lawyer, Steve Fishman, declined comment Tuesday.

Court records indicate the alleged prescription drug scheme was so profitable that Awada allegedly bragged he had stashed as much as $20 million, including more than $1 million cash at his Royal Oak home, and shipped money to Lebanon inside a storage container.

Awada was charged with 68 crimes, most of which carried 20-year prison sentences and $1 million fines.

Awada was charged alongside a second doctor who worked in his office, Luis Collazo, and a patient recruiter, James Lyons.

Court records indicate Lyons struck a plea deal in 2013 and is scheduled to be sentenced in February. The plea deal is not explained in court records and details were unavailable Tuesday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Collazo, meanwhile, has a plea hearing Jan. 12 in federal court.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

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