Hudson physician sentenced for role in prescription drug kickback conspiracy
AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on Friday sentenced a Hudson physician for his role in a prescription drug kickback conspiracy.
Court documents said 66-year-old Deepak Raheja conspired with fellow co-defendants Frank Mazzucco, Gregory Hayslette and Bhupinder Sawhny to increase the number of prescriptions written by both Raheja and Sawhny for a prescription drug called Nuedexta.
Officials also said Mazzucco and Hayslette, employed at the same time as pharmaceutical sales representatives for Avanir Pharmaceuticals in the same region that Raheja and Sawhny practiced. The company produced the FDA-approved drug used for treating pseudobulbar, a neurological condition.
Officials said Raheja would join Avanir-sponsored speaker’s bureaus, where he would receive approximately $1,500 for each of his 211 speaking events between February 2011 and July 2016 while promoting the drug’s sale.
Raheja received approximately $331,550 in total payments from Avanir and wrote approximately 10,088 Nuedexta prescriptions, court documents said.
A United States Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesperson confirmed Raheja pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit, receive, offer and pay health care kickbacks in November 2022.
Raheja on Feb. 3, 2023 was sentenced to 30 months, or 2.5 years in prison, and was ordered to pay $2,163,995 in restitution and a $50,000 fine. He also had to surrender his medical license.
Sawhny was previously sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $40,126.22 in restitution, while Mazzucco and Hayslette both will be sentenced in Feb. 2023.
This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.
Copyright 2023 WOIO. All rights reserved.