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Posted on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

Ypsilanti doctor indicted in health care, drug distribution scheme along U.S. 23 pipeline

By Katrease Stafford

An Ypsilanti doctor and 43 other people have been charged in a scheme to illegally divert and distribute prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced Wednesday.


Dr. Muhammad Ahmed is one of 44 individuals facing federal charges. file photo

According to a release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, 65, and the others are charged in a 13-count indictment for drug conspiracy involving prescription drug that are controlled substances such as OxyContin, Opana, Vicodin and other drugs.

Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said a stretch of U.S. 23 is known as the drug pipeline in which drugs flow from Detroit to Portsmouth, Ohio and through other states.

Health care fraud charges were filed against 32 of the defendants, three are charged with money laundering and three also are charged with being felons in possession of firearms.

The DEA and McQuade believe the owners of home health agencies would provide kickbacks, bribes, and other illegal benefits to physicians to induce them to write prescriptions for patients with Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance.

Patients were recruited into the scheme by patient recruiters who would pay kickbacks and bribes to patients in exchange for the patient permitting the pharmacies and physicians to bill their insurance for medications and services that were medically unnecessary or never provided.

The home health care owners paid physicians associated with the scheme kickbacks in exchange for prescriptions for controlled substances for their patients which were filled at the respective pharmacies, according to the indictment.

“The merger of health care fraud and drug trafficking is a disturbing trend that is not only robbing taxpayers, but also fueling addictions to prescription drugs,” McQuade said in a statement. “Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic, with more Americans dying from overdoses than from gunshot wounds.”

The investigation in this case was handled by the DEA, the FBI and several other agencies including the Department of Homeland Security.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Terrence R. Haugabook, Michael Martin, and Wayne F. Pratt, who will be assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Grey and Gjon Juncaj.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

"Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said a stretch of U.S. 23 is known as the drug pipeline in which drugs flow from Detroit to Portsmouth, Ohio and through other states." Poor US 23. It gets profiled even though most of this seems to be I 75.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

The "pipeline" is a made up issue that law enforcement agencies in that area use to scare people into giving them funding. Just look at the ridiculous lies about marijuana they're pushing:


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

This is bad for those of us that need these prescriptions for legitimate health problems. I personally been treated like an addict at the hospital when it was medically necessary for me to have the prescription.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

The problem of drug abuse: This story reveals the lack of compassion in responding to the problem of pain that people experience. It is unfortunate to read about doctors exploiting the problem of drug addiction to satisfy their own addiction for personal wealth. If there is pain, it must be responded and managed by the influence called compassion. The instinct called compassion has uplifting power of its own and it increases pain tolerance and reduces drug dependence. These criminals must be punished and yet we have to discover those unfortunate people who need help to cope with the problem of pain and psychological addiction to the use of chemical substances for pain relief.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

"McQuade said in a statement. "Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic, with more Americans dying from overdoses than from gunshot wounds." Really, does the President know this? Does Congress know this? If they do why are guns so bad?

Amy Biolchini

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Ahmed's license to practice medicine in Ypsilanti is active and there have been no complaints filed. His license was issued in 1976, and expires Jan. 31, 2014 according to state records. Dr. Ahmed does have a license that expired for 2002 for controlled drugs in a pharmacy setting in Detroit. There are two other Muhammad Ahmeds in the state's license database, but they have different middle names so it can't be immediately discerned that they're the same person.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

I found this online from the Ypsilanti Heritage Newspaper; names a few others: "...the indictment alleges home health agency owners Sardar Ashrafkhan, Deepak Kumar, John Check and David Vezzossi provided kickbacks, bribes and other illegal benefits to physicians so they would write prescriptions for patients, according to the press release..."


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

Remind me again....why is marijuana illegal?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 10:31 a.m.

If you want to learn more about this issue of how OxyContin, heroin use and crime in our local area is connected, and how those topics intersect with police staffing and local politics please read my column on this subject: People get hooked on Oxy and when their money runs out they use heroin because it is cheap, and steal to get the money to buy the heroin. A huge percentage of all local thefts including home and car break-ins come from people stealing to get money to buy this drug.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

@dancinginmysoul: I think that everyone I know has had a friend or family member touched by addiction problems. You, too, right? As CEO of a company with 329 employees I've got many more families and friends than most, to worry about. Drug addiction is an epidemic in our country and a lot of lives are being damaged by it. If you care about those close to you, and your friends and colleagues and it strikes them, you want to know as much as possible to help them. Bankers, like priests learn many things from many people that most people never hear even a whisper about. So to answer your question, I don't have any degrees in Addiction and Addiction research, but Yale gave me a scholarship to get a degree to learn how to learn and I have no formal credential in this area other than an MS H.K., a "master in the school of hard knocks" ;-)


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

I'm wondering what your qualifications in Addiction and Addiction research are?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

If you ACTUALLY want to learn about this issue, do something more than read some anecdotal bloviating.

In doubt

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:20 a.m.

I wonder if there is a list of all the Doctors anywhere. ?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

I would bet that 99% of all the break-ins, home invasions, theft from cars, purse snatchings, church break-ins, etc., etc. around here are done by heroin, meth, crack, pill addicts. Go after them with harsh sentencings but go after their suppliers mercilessly. It sounds like McQuade is on the right track. I speak as someone who has been violated by some of these scumbags.

Angry Moderate

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

Going after them mercilessly doesn't solve the problem, as we've learned over the past 50 years. It just makes the drug trade more profitable and more violent. There are cities and countries that actually address the reality of drug use instead of trying to legislate it away.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

I hope this guy gets nailed.In the last few years I've had at least 3 VERY close friends that OD'd on Oxycotin.None of them were poor trailer trash.In fact , 2 of them them were millionaires before they got hooked.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

Whoa........ man, that's heavy...... a lot to ponder.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

This is why I avoid Ypsi.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Yes, indeed, we all know that there are NO drugs in Ann Arbor!


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

you realize he was selling to your rich neighbor in AA? likely (based on sting data) when that neighbor was picking up a prostitute?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:23 a.m.

There are plenty of great people in Ypsi and lot of good things happening here as well. Too bad it's not all publicized as well as the bad stuff. Furthermore, a lot of great people have chosen to stay in Ypsi in order to work to make it better. We can't be naive and think that these things don't happen in Ann Arbor too.

Superior Twp voter

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

I wonder where Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, 65,'s profits were going? The Farmer's and Country Savings and Loan?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

poppy farmers?

Angry Moderate

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Yet Ypsi is freaking out about medical marijuana clinics.

Basic Bob

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

Getting tough on crime the easiest way possible.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

And yet U.S. hospitals recruit in Pakistan, telling the docs that in America the streets are paved with gold, and the U.S. govt pays for all the pills. OxyContin is killing our young people! The reason we have so many B&Es is the kids go directly to the bathroom medicine cabinet. Ask any cop . . . (an idea for a Rich Kinsey column . . . ).


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Yeah, so? Does this then mean any doctor from Pakistan will therefore smuggle drugs?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

@dancinginmysoul- the doctor trained in Lehore. Let's assume he's from Pakistan.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

I don't understand how the first sentence is related to this story at all.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

Katrease, do you know where Dr. Muhammad Ahmed works?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

Here ya go:

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:16 a.m. ...

Katrease Stafford

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Amy, I believe I know the location, but I didn't want to include it until I had verification from the authorities.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

Was MichiganMan indicted in this fraud?

Morty Seinfeld

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Thank goodness for U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and her associates; they have all been working very hard and doing a great job cleaning up the region. With all of the crime and corruption in S.E. Michigan, they can rest assured they should have plenty of job security.

Basic Bob

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

This is a far worse problem than heroin, because nearly 90% of the opioid addicts are hooked on prescription drugs. In many cases they are either not medically necessary, or they are stolen ("diverted") from people with real chronic pain. When people get desperate enough, they will turn to heroin, start robbing their neighbors, or pawning the family heirlooms. Many overdose, end up in and our of treatment, or a lifetime on a replacement drug. Doctors and clinics who breach the trust we place in them should be dealt with no differently than heroin traffickers and organized crime figures.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

The bigger problem is the "legal" pushers. The doctors who can't seem to let anyone leave their office without a prescription for one or more drugs. Having worked at a local outpatient clinic I saw this day after day while checking them out. Elderly people would bring in small paper bags of drugs to their visits. They couldn't remember all of the drugs they had been prescribed. I can't help but wonder if the medical community isn't in the pocket of Big Pharmacy and profits from it.

Ann Dwyer

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Even people who use them legitimately have issues getting off them.