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HAMMOND | A physician who owned a weight loss clinic in Merrillville pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to tax evasion and illegally dispensing millions of pills to patients without proper examinations.
Dr. Rakesh Anand, 57, and his wife Meena Anand, 53 -- both of Tinley Park, Ill. -- owned and managed Doctors Weight Loss Clinics in Merrillville, Tinley Park and Orland Park, Ill. The Anands agreed to forfeit and pay the feds $5.2 million as part of their plea agreement.
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen on Monday accepted the couple's guilty pleas on the tax evasion charges at the federal courthouse in Hammond. Van Bokkelen deferred acceptance of Rakesh Anand's guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances until his sentencing on March 20.
In the plea agreement, Rakesh Anand said between January 2002 and February 2010, he and Dr. Dinesh Saraiya purchased and dispensed more than 1 million pills containing Phendimetrazine and more than 3 million pills containing Phentermine. Both of the drugs are controlled substances.
Saraiya, 75, of Tinley Park, worked with Rakesh Anand to dispense the amphetamine-based pills to patients as weight loss pills without performing physicals or exams, reviewing patient records, obtaining medical histories or performing subsequent monitoring, according to federal authorities.
Rakesh Anand paid Saraiya based on how many patients he saw and how many pills he dispensed to patients, he said in the plea agreement.
Over the course of the investigation, undercover law enforcement officials -- two of whom had slight builds and body mass indexes below the obesity level -- purchased the pills at the clinics without any exams or other medical considerations, federal officials said.
Saraiya cooperated with the investigation and is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Rakesh and Meena Anand remain free on bond until sentencing. Van Bokkelen added electronic monitoring to Rakesh Anand's release on Monday.
They sit and gripe about "supposed" American obesity and then turn around and make it impossible to lose weight for common folk...Of course all the high and mighty have their "ways"
Sounds like they were going after your doctor for tax issues and probably didn't have much on him so they decided to stick the pill thing on him...
I wonder what he was giving his patients? Because Phen is schedule IV- its like a step away from OTC- Which in this day and age, Phen should be OTC.
If they could do it for that crap making Alli-which strips you of nutrients and other things....And is just plain VILE.
I think this should be given to politicians!
They could market phen to the public-
But NO, they want to stick with the old general advice of eat "healthy" and exercise-
never worked before and never will....
And they wonder why there are supposed weight problems in America?
Keep beating that dead horse American politicians, Physicians and fitness guru's!
Nope apparently they have nothing better to do than scan forums like this one and take down diet docs! idiots!
i guess my point is, if the majority of patients are basically healthy and want to lose some weight, whether it be 50 lbs. or 5 lbs. and a doctor is willing to prescribe the meds you need to reach that goal, what is the harm?
harm is: the government is not getting it's tax cut. bottom line.
Doctors can be a-holes, That is for sure. I hope you find the answers you are looking for- Your doctor sounds like he or she is not educated in weight loss and is in desperate need of some lessons on just plain manners and patient etiquette.
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