LANSING, MI – Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2015, that his Health Care Fraud Division has charged Dr. John Ronald Verbovsky, 67, of Southfield, Michigan, with two counts of first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, one count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise -Racketeering, one count of Conspiracy to Deliver Controlled Substances less than 50 grams, and nine counts of Medicaid Fraud – False Claim.
The charges allege Verbovsky orchestrated an ongoing scheme to prescribe controlled substances in exchange for sexual favors and money.
“Physicians are supposed to heal their patients, not exploit them,” said Schuette. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute anyone attempting to compromise the integrity of our healthcare system at the expense of patient safety and taxpayer dollars.”
Verbovsky practiced as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at his clinic, Progressive Family Medicine, in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and at Stout Family Medicine in Detroit. Charges against Verbovsky stem from an Attorney General investigation into allegations that Verbovsky was prescribing controlled substances based not upon medical need, but instead allegedly using his prescriptive authority as a physician to coerce sexual favors and money from patients. The Attorney General investigation also revealed that the Medicaid program was allegedly billed and paid for prescriptions that were written by Verbovsky without medical necessity.
Schuette filed the following charges against John R. Verbovsky in Ingham’s 54B District Court on January 28, 2015:
- Two counts of first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, a felony punishable by up to life or any term of years in prison; and,
- One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise – Racketeering, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine; and,
- One count of Conspiracy to Deliver less than 50 grams of a Controlled Substance, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine; and,
- Nine counts of Medicaid Fraud – False Claim, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
Verbovsky surrendered himself to the court on February 3, 2015 and was arraigned in Ingham’s 54B District Court before Judge Andrea Larkin. Verbovsky was granted a $50,000 personal recognizance bond by Judge Larkin. Verbovsky is next due in court for his pre-exam conference on February 20, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Richard D. Ball and his preliminary exam is set for February 26, 2015 also before Judge Ball.
Citizens with additional information that may assist this investigation should please contact Attorney General Schuette’s Health Care Fraud Division at their 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-24-ABUSE/1-800-242-2873.
The Attorney General Health Care Fraud Division exists to identify, prosecute and prevent fraudulent activity by doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other health care providers participating in the Medicaid program. Taxpayer dollars provide health care to indigent patients and other recipients. It is vital that these dollars be effectively spent to help those in need. Fraud affects everyone including the recipients of care, the taxpayers who pay for it and the overwhelming majority of providers who conscientiously provide quality care.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.