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Dearborn entrepreneur charged in $1M health care fraud

Published: January 7, 2019
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Source: detroitnews.com

A Dearborn pharmacist, hailed earlier this year for opening the nation's first halal-certified Sonic Drive-In restaurant, cheated Medicare and Medicaid by charging for medication prescribed to dead people, according to federal prosecutors.

Trudell Pharmacy owner Haytham "Tom" Fakih also committed health care fraud by billing for expensive medication that was not dispensed to patients, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint filed against the pharmacist in federal court Sunday. In all, the fraud cost more than $1.2 million, authorities allege.

Fakih, 53, is the latest in a string of local doctorsbusinessmen and medical professionals facing criminal charges related to health care fraud that have totaled more than $800 million in recent years. 

The investigation emerged publicly in September when federal agents seized more than $350,000 during a series of raids that happened five months after Fakih staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his Sonic Drive-In restaurant with Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilly Jr. and other community leaders.

On Sunday, Fakih was released on $10,000 unsecured bond after making an initial appearance in federal court. If convicted, he could spend up to 10 years in prison.

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