Washington: An Indian-American couple who operated weight-loss clinics in Indiana faces federal drug and tax evasion charges for allegedly providing prescription weight-loss drugs to patients without performing physicals and not paying some $750,000 in taxes.
Rakesh Anand, 55, and Meena Anand, 51, owners of Doctors Weight Loss Centres in suburban Lansing, Orland Park, and Merrillville in Indiana, were charged in a 35-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Hammond, Indiana reported.
Federal prosecutors alleged the Anands hired a physician and had him prescribe the amphetamine-based prescription drugs phendimetrazine and phentermine to patients at their clinics without reviewing their medical histories, performing physicals or follow-up care.
They also allege the Anands systematically deposited money from the clinics in cheques just below the $10,000 threshold that triggers banking monitors, and didn’t report all the income from the clinics, cheating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) out of $750,000 from 2005 to 2008.
Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of $6.3 million from the couple as proceeds of the enterprise, including $700,000 in cash seized from the couple’s home in Tinley Park in a May 2010 raid and $3.6 million in bank and brokerage accounts that have been frozen.
Rakesh Anand is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, illegally structuring monetary transactions, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and tax fraud.
Meena Anand, who managed the locations in Lansing and Orland Park, faces the same charges except distributing controlled substances. By Arun Kumar