Two Maryland doctors have been charged with illegally selling prescriptions for opioid painkillers at so-called “pill mills.” State Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the indictments Thursday together with local and federal officials following an investigation spanning multiple agencies and jurisdictions.
Law enforcement officials say Kofi Shaw-Taylor illegally billed Medicaid and accepted cash for prescriptions at clinics in Glen Burnie and Baltimore. He faces 289 counts of charges that include conspiracy to commit drug distribution and Medicaid fraud.
Officials say Hasan Babaturk, a doctor in Bel Air, met patients on the street and made house calls to illegally sell opioid painkillers.
He was in the process of opening a medical office in eastern Baltimore County, said Baltimore County Police Capt. Wes Fischer, head of the department’s vice narcotics section. However, law enforcement did not find any patient medical records to go with the prescriptions Babaturk issued.
These are just two examples of what is likely a broader problem, Frosh said.
“These are outrageous cases. We hope they’re outliers,” he said. “Unfortunately, the evidence in Maryland and around the country suggests that there are others like them, folks who seek to profit off the sale of opiates.”
According to the Maryland Department of Health, roughly 100 people died related to an overdose on prescription opioids in the first three months of 2017.