Attorney General Paxton’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has successfully concluded an investigation that led to the conviction and sentencing of Anthony Obute, the owner and pharmacist in charge of Keystone Pharmacy in Houston. Obute was sentenced to 210 months of federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $4,000,000 in restitution to Medicare.
“The illegal distribution of prescription narcotics worsens the nationwide opioid crisis that is destroying lives and wreaking havoc on families,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My office will not rest while government health care programs are abused and defrauded to fuel this unprecedented health crisis.”
Obute conspired in an opioid drug diversion scheme with Dr. Shivarajpur Ravi, who operated a pain management clinic. “Crew leaders” and gang associates brought patients to Ravi’s clinic for pain management prescriptions. For each patient brought in, the crew leaders paid the clinic $420. In exchange, Dr. Ravi issued prescriptions for opioid pain medications to Obute, who allowed crew leaders to collect the prescriptions for sale on the streets.
The investigation was conducted by Sergeant Mike Price, Investigative Auditor Shen Wang, and Captain Rick McCollum of Paxton’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and it was worked jointly with the DEA, FBI, HHS, IRS, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, US Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, and the Texas State Pharmacy Board. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.
In the last fiscal year, Attorney General Paxton’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit recovered over $236 million in taxpayer funds.