The business manager at a Bucks County medical practice is accused of taking part in an oxycodone distribution ring that sold fraudulently obtained pills.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia on Friday announced the healthcare fraud and drug charges against 37-year-old Michael Milchin and 13 others accused of having roles in the ring, which allegedly operated from May 2012 until March 2015.
“The exploitation of the healthcare system through fraudulent claims for personal gain affects all of us who rely on that system,” Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen said in a statement. “The trafficking of oxycodone completely devastates individuals, their families and all of our communities.”
Milchin, who was the office manager at Central Bucks Health Associates in Southampton, allegedly conspired with the other defendants to fill hundreds of fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone at pharmacies around the region. The prescriptions were purported to have been written by a physician with the practice, but prosecutors said no doctor from the office authorized them.
Oxycodone is an opioid prescribed for pain relief. The pain pills are commonly prescribed after surgery or significant accidents, and the growing number of prescriptions for the drugs is frequently cited as a major contributing factor in the epidemic of drug addiction, overdoses and deaths.
Milchin sold the drugs or provided them to others to sell on the street, an indictment says. Court documents don’t list a total quantity of drugs the group is believed to have sold.
Also charged were Augustine Lee of Philadelphia, Nikita Latychev of Feasterville-Trevose, Yaroslav Stadniychuk of Philadelphia, Bryant Bishop of Philadelphia, Ning Jian Du of Philadelphia, Taras Trushchenk of Jamison, Armen Khimoian of Warwick, Linda Flamer of Philadelphia, Igor Khavulya of Philadelphia, Nik Palatnik of Feasterville-Trevose, Vannarat Xayavongsithideth of Philadelphia, Thearack Tham Kith of Philadelphia, and Sebastian Moeung of Philadelphia.
Milchin is also accused of taking part in a healthcare fraud conspiracy with John Vira, a chiropractor in the office, from June 2010 to July 2012. Vira, who was charged separately earlier this year, and Milchin would submit claims for hundreds of chiropractic treatments that were never provided, according to court records.
In total, they billed insurance companies Independence Blue Cross and Aetna for more than $700,000 in services that were not provided to patients, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Milchin could not immediately be reached for comment.
A number of others working in healthcare throughout the Philadelphia region, including pharmacists, doctors and secretaries have also faced charges in recent months for allegedly selling or otherwise illegally distributing oxycodone or other drugs.