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United States v. Patel

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 5, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DEVENKUMAR C. PATEL, a/k/a DEVEN PATEL, Defendant.

          OPINION DENYING PATEL'S MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF (DOC. 96)

          VICTORIA A. ROBERTS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Devenkumar C. Patel, (“Patel”), filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. After entering a guilty plea, Patel was convicted and sentenced for one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, 18 U.S.C. § 842(a), and one count of health care fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1347.

         For the reasons that follow, the petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED.

         I. Background

         On June 25, 2013, the Government charged Patel, the beneficial owner of Southfield Medical Pharmacy, with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, and health care fraud. Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (“Rule 11”), he entered into a Plea Agreement (“Agreement”) [Doc. 53] on both charges. The Agreement contained this narrative of facts:

“During the period of October 2009 through June 2010, [Petitioner] with indifference to his obligation under the [Controlled Substances Act], allowed Southfield Medical Pharmacy to dispense a specialty compounded topical cream known as AI Topical Cream which contained ketamine, a Schedule 3 controlled substance, without first obtaining a valid written or oral prescription from [local doctor's] medical office in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 842(a) (1), and allowed Southfield Medical Pharmacy to bill and to receive reimbursement for these prescription medications from health care benefit programs … in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347.”

[Doc. 53, Pg 2-3].

         Patel tendered a guilty plea to both charges. In his Plea Colloquy (“Colloquy”) [Doc. 73], Patel made the following admissions concerning the distribution charge:

“Your Honor, I failed to supervise certain employees under my control and direct supervision and said employees unlawfully distributed and/or dispensed a Schedule III controlled substance known as Compounding Topical Creme, … which contained Ketamine and this is without a valid prescription. Specifically during the period of October, 2009 through June, 2010 certain pharmacists working for me at the Southfield Medical Pharmacy dispensed AI Topical Creme, a Schedule III controlled substance without a valid prescription. As the owner and manager of these individuals, I should have known of this unlawful activity. For these reasons I enter this plea and accept responsibility for my actions.”

[Doc 73, Pg 13]. Concerning the health care fraud charge, Patel admitted:

“[D]uring the period October, 2009 through June, 2010 certain pharmacists working for me at the Southfield Medical Pharmacy dispensed AI Topical Creme, a Schedule III controlled substance without valid a prescriptions. As owner/manager of the business and supervisor of the employees, I allowed Southfield Medical Pharmacy to bill and receive reimbursement for these prescription medications from health care benefit programs, including Blue Cross, Medco and CVS.”

Id. at Pg 14-15. The Court accepted Patel's pleas, convicted him on both charges, and later sentenced him to seventeen months in prison.

         Patel seeks a writ of habeas corpus. He says: (1) his plea was defective because there was no factual basis of the requisite intent for the charges to which he pled; and (2) he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his lawyers gave him erroneous advice ...


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