A suspended physician who owned weight loss clinics in Northwest Indiana and
south suburban Chicago has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for
illegally dispensing millions of pills containing amphetamine-based
controlled substances to patients, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
Northern District of Indiana said.
He and his wife were also sentenced for federal income tax evasion relating
to their operation of the clinics.
Dr. Rakesh Anand, 57, and his wife, Meena Anand, 53, both of Tinley Park,
Ill.Ńwho owned and managed Doctors Weight Loss Clinics in Merrillville and
in Tinley Park and Orland Park, Ill.Ńwere also ordered to pay $745,872 in
restitution to the Internal Revenue Service from nearly $5.2 million which
was seized from them and ordered forfeited.
Rakesh AnandŃa suspended physician in Illinois who was also licensed in
Indiana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office saidŃwas fined $750,000 last week and
ordered to begin serving his two-year sentence on Aug. 30. Meena Anand was
fined $100,000 and ordered to begin serving her 30-day sentence on Sept. 3.
In addition to the fines, forfeiture, and restitution, the Anands remain
civilly liable to the Internal Revenue Service for any and all back taxes
and a civil fraud penalty of up to 75 percent of the underpayment plus
interest, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The Anands must pay restitution of $745,872 to the IRS for taxes owed on
nearly $2 million of unreported income between 2005 and 2008. The
restitution is to be paid from funds frozen in a brokerage account when the
Anands were indicted in August 2011. In addition, they agreed to forfeit
more than $4.45 million in additional funds frozen or seized during the
investigation, bringing to nearly $5.2 million the total amount of funds
being applied to forfeiture and restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Rakesh Anand admitted that between January 2002 and February 2010, he and
another physician, Dr. Dinesh Saraiya, purchased and dispensed more than 1
million pills containing Phendimetrazine, a Schedule III controlled
substance, and more than 3 million pills containing Phentermine, a Schedule
IV controlled substance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The Anands grossed
more than $5 million from their operation of the three weight loss clinics.
Saraiya, 75, of Tinley Park, cooperated in the case and pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, the U.S. Attorney’s Office
said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30.
“Between 2002 and February 2010, Rakesh Anand hired Saraiya, who agreed with
him to illegally dispense the amphetamine-based controlled substances as
weight loss medications to patients without performing physical examinations
or any medical tests, and without reviewing patients’ records, obtaining a
complete medical history, or providing any subsequent monitoring,” the U.S.
Attorney’s office said.
“In return, Rakesh Anand paid Saraiya based on how many patients he saw and
how many pills he dispensed to patients on a daily basis,” the U.S.
Attorney’s Office said. “In dispensing the medications, Rakesh Anand and
Saraiya failed to determine whether patients had first made a reasonable
effort to lose weight through diet and exercise, a prerequisite to
prescribing controlled substances for weight loss. In some instances, Rakesh
Anand employed clerks to dispense the controlled substances even though he
was not present and had not consulted with them.”
“During the course of the investigation, several undercover law enforcement
agents, including two with slight builds and body mass indexes well below
the obesity level, purchased controlled substances at the clinics without
any of the appropriate medical protocols,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation
Division, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Indiana State