Michigan physician convicted of drug and health care fraud charges

Bingham Farms physician convicted on 30 charges related to drug and health care fraud

(Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA)

DETROIT – A physician was convicted by a federal jury in Detroit on 30 charges related to a $35 million controlled substance operation.

David Jankowski, a 62-year-old man from Bingham Farms, faced the charges in connection to his operation of Summit Medical Group, a purported medical clinic formerly located in Dearborn Heights and Southfield.

According to the evidence presented at the two-month-long trial, Dr. Jankowski wrote medically unnecessary prescriptions for controlled substances such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and Xanax.

It was also revealed that he would prescribe controlled substances after receiving cash from patient recruiters who brought patients to his practice.

Evidence demonstrated that Jankowski also issued or authorized the issuance of more than 1.7 million Schedule II (cocaine, morphine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), meperidine (Demerol), fentanyl, methadone, methamphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin) controlled substances to individuals outside the course of professional medical practice for no legitimate medical purpose in exchange for compensation.

Jankowski also issued or authorized more than 800,000 Schedule III (ketamine, anabolic steroids, buprenorphine (Suboxone), codeine and hydrocodone products mixed with aspirin or acetaminophen) controlled substances and more than 870,000 Schedule IV (alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan)) controlled substances.

The evidence also showed that Jankowski used his access to controlled substances to lure patients into his health care fraud scheme. Patients were attracted to his practice by the easy access to controlled substances. Many of these patients had no need for the drugs, instead, these substances were sold on the streets to feed the addictions of opioid addicts.

Testimony and exhibits showed that Jankowski then submitted false and fraudulent insurance claims asserting that he had provided necessary treatment to these patients. The claims were submitted to Michigan auto insurance companies, private health care insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Based on these fraudulent claims, Dr. Jankowski received more than $29.3 million from the auto and private insurance companies and more than $6 million from Medicare and Medicaid.

United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison stated: “The improper distribution of prescription drugs outside the course of ordinary medical practice causes significant harm. It is in everyone’s best interests to keep these highly addictive substances off the street, and it is particularly disturbing when a trusted physician is the vehicle for the illegal distribution of opioids.”

Jankowski was convicted of thirty of the thirty-two counts with which he was charged and faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

“This defendant exploited vulnerable patients and the health care system by prescribing and billing for medically unnecessary prescription medications. By doing so, he violated his oath to do no harm, and defrauded health care insurance programs. This type of crime puts patients at risk and makes medical care more costly for all of us,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “Thanks to the diligent work of the FBI and our law enforcement partners, we are able to address this important aspect of health care fraud and continue our mission of bringing those who operate these criminal schemes to justice.”


About the Author:

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of this year. She is also studying political science and communications at Wayne State University.