'Doctors on the Go' owner sentenced to 9 years in prison for fraud, kickbacks

A picture of handcuffs and money
Denis Mikhlin, 41, pleaded guilty in August to charges of conspiracy, fraudulently obtaining oxycodone and other opioid drugs and receiving illegal kickbacks in return for sending urine specimens to Central Diagnostic Laboratory for medically unnecessary testing. (Getty Images/alfexe)

The owner of Missouri-based medical group Doctors on the Go was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of fraud and accepting kickbacks. 

Denis Mikhlin, 41, pleaded guilty in August to charges of conspiracy, fraudulently obtaining oxycodone and other opioid drugs and receiving illegal kickbacks in return for sending urine specimens to Central Diagnostic Laboratory for medically unnecessary testing.

He also pleaded guilty to costing the Medicare and Medicaid programs more than $4.7 million in medically unnecessary prescription drugs and drug tests.

RELATED: Doctors in 5 states charged with illegally prescribing opioids, some in exchange for cash, sex

Officials said Mikhlin conspired with others to distribute illegal opioid prescriptions to patients they knew did not have a legitimate medical need for drugs and who were instead abusing or selling the drugs. In some cases, officials said Mikhlin recruited individuals and paid them for the use of their names on the fraudulent prescriptions. They said he also created patient files, falsely indicating the patients had been examined and were being monitored.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey handed down the prison sentence as well as an order for Mikhlin to pay restitution.

Earlier this month, co-defendant Jerry Leech, who is also a doctor, pleaded guilty to four felony counts related to the fraud scheme. Co-defendants Erin Herman, Vladimir Kogan, Ebony Price, Tijuana Spates and Erica Spates have also pleaded guilty. All are scheduled for sentencing in May.

The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Missouri Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case.