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Indictment Alleges 2 Oakland County Doctors Issued Over $20M In Bogus Opioid Prescriptions

A medical clinic owner and two others also charged in the conspiracy

August 01, 2018 - 5:55 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - An indictment unsealed Wednesday charges five people with conspiracy to distribute millions of dollars worth of opioids over a two-year period. 

Two doctors, a medical clinic owner, a patient recruiter and a clinic employee are charged with conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs and other opioid-related charges, says U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Named in the indictment are:

  • Dr. Michele Ritter, 60, of Commerce Township
  • Dr. Charise Valentine, 62, of Southfield
  • Kristina Brown, 30, of Dearborn Heights
  • Iris Winchester, 48, of Oak Park
  • Joyce Robinson, 62, of Detroit

It's alleged that over a period of two years, June 2016 through July 2018, the clinic owner, along with Ritter and Valentine, conspired with the other defendants to issue and dispense a large number of prescription opioids for supposed “patients” who did not have a legitimate medical need for the drugs. 

According to the indictment, the doctors issued more than 674,500 dosage units of Schedule II opioid prescriptions during the course of the conspiracy with a street value of over $20 million. 

Winchester operated Orthopedic Medical Building, or “OMB,” in Oak Park where bogus patient could count on being prescribed oxycodone and oxymorphone, two of the most addictive opioids that have high street value. 

According to Schneider, OMB only accepted cash and charged patients not based on the service provided, but instead based on the quantity, type, and dosage of prescription opioids that the patient received. 

The indictment states that Winchester and her employee, Brown, are also charged for the creation of fraudulent medical records for the supposed “patients.”

Robinson was one of the patient recruiters who brought supposed “patients” to OMB, and also facilitated other patient recruiters to bring individuals to OMB to receive unlawful prescriptions from the two doctors charged.