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Attorney General charges 2 Md. doctors in ‘pill mill’ operations

(phodopus / Depositphotos.com)

(phodopus / Depositphotos.com)

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced Thursday the indictments of 11 people, including two doctors, who are accused of operating “pill mills” that illegally distributed opioids and other controlled substances.

Kofi Shaw-Taylor and nine co-conspirators operated two clinics that allegedly dispensed drugs without a medical purpose and submitted fraudulent Medicaid claims, according to a news release from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. They face 289 counts of conspiracy to commit drug distribution, Medicaid fraud involving the death of a beneficiary and other charges.

Medicaid data showed more than 1,000 beneficiaries were prescribed medication by Shaw-Taylor but more than 700 of them were not billed for corresponding medical visits, according to the release. Approximately 400 beneficiaries were prescribed 283,666 doses of oxycodone by Shaw-Taylor.

Hasan Babaturk is accused of selling prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines in exchange for cash, often from his car or through “house calls” in Baltimore and Harford counties, according to the release.

Baltimore County Police Captain Wes Fischer said Babaturk’s operation looked like a traditional drug dealing operation, with complaints coming in from the community and pharmacies about suspicious behavior. People were being arrested with prescriptions written by Babaturk; others were selling the prescriptions, he said.

Frosh said when doctors, who are supposed to provide help and healing, are involved in the opioid epidemic, they must be held accountable.

“They enriched themselves by stealing from the state and exploiting their patients,” he said. “Today, they face the consequences.”

Multiple local and federal agencies participated in the investigations of the doctors, according to Karl C. Colder, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Colder said the investigation and the cooperation across agencies is “where we need to be.”

Shaw-Taylor and his co-conspirators are charged in Anne Arundel County and Babaturk is charged in Harford County.


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