Livonia Doctor Pleads Guilty to Distributing Prescription Pills for Cash

DETROIT, MI – A Livonia doctor pleaded guilty on Thursday, February 12th, 2015, to conspiring to distribute prescription pills without a legitimate medical purpose.Prescription-Pills

Dr. Mohammad Batayneh, 68-years-old, of Livonia, admitted at his plea hearing before Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen that he participated in a conspiracy with others between June 2011 and April 2013. Batayneh, the last of six defendants to plead guilty in the case, admitted that he issued more than 300,000 dosage units of Roxicodone (oxycodone HCl) outside the course of legitimate medical practice.

The prescriptions were issued after either a cursory examination or without any examination at all. Batayneh provided the prescriptions to his co-conspirators or to the patients in exchange for cash. Once the prescriptions were filled, the pills were sold on the illicit street market.

Roxicodone is a Schedule II controlled substance that may be prescribed by medical professionals only for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of a doctor’s professional practice. It is a powerful and highly addictive drug and is increasingly abused because of its potency when crushed into a powder and ingested, leading to a heroin-like euphoria.

“More people die in America every year from prescription drug overdoses than from overdoses of all other drugs combined,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said. “In addition, prescription drug addiction has led to resurgence in heroin use. Physicians who divert prescription drugs to the street market are contributing to this epidemic, and we are focusing our enforcement efforts on stopping them.”

All of the defendants charged in the indictment have been convicted by pleas and some have been sentenced already. Others are scheduled to be sentenced in the near future. Batayneh is scheduled to be sentenced on May 21.