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Michigan doctor convicted of defrauding insurance companies of $30 million, writing ‘medically unnecessary prescriptions’ for opioids

A Michigan doctor has been found guilty on 30 of the 32 charges related to overprescribing opioids and insurance fraud that federal prosecutors leveled against him.

David Jankowski, 62, of Bingham Farms, Michigan, ran what amounts to an opioid “pill mill,” writing perhaps thousands of what prosecutors called “medically unnecessary prescriptions” for controlled substances such as Oxycontin, Oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, Xanax and others.

According to an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services, Jankowski issued or authorized the issuance of more than 1.7 million Schedule II substances, 800,000 Schedule III substances, and 870,000 Schedule IV substances, all to lure opioid-addicted patients to his practice and use them to engage in an insurance fraud scheme.

“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,” U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison stated.

Jankowski even exchanged opioid prescriptions for cash given to him by recruiters who would bring in even more patients to expand his practice and increase the number of fraudulent insurance claims he could make.

Jankowski operated a clinic called Summit Medical Group, which has locations in Southfield and Dearborn Heights, Michigan, both suburbs of Detroit. Jankowski then amassed a sizeable clientele by providing patients with easy access to opioids, then filing fraudulent insurance claims on their behalf. According to evidence presented at trial, Jankowski collected almost $30 million in fraudulent auto and private medical insurance claims and an additional $6 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

“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.”

Jankowski will be sentenced on November 15, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. local time. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.