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Doctor accused of dealing drugs

– An Indianapolis doctor was in jail Monday on charges he wrote illicit prescriptions for powerful painkillers that patients didn’t need and submitted insurance claims for office visits that never occurred.

Dr. Segun Rasaki was charged with 25 felonies, including dealing in controlled substances and insurance fraud. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Dennis Wichern announced the charges at a news conference Monday morning.

The criminal charges involved 11 patients, including an undercover DEA agent, but a drug tracking database shows that Rasaki wrote more than 16,000 prescriptions for controlled substances in 2010.

Rasaki did not have an attorney. An initial court hearing was scheduled for today.

Twenty-three of the charges against Rasaki carry a penalty of six to 20 years in prison, while two of the charges have a potential sentence range of two to eight years. Theoretically, if convicted on all charges, Rasaki could face a sentence of nearly 500 years.

The investigation began in 2009 after pharmacists told the attorney general’s office and the Drug Enforcement Administration that they were concerned about Rasaki’s prescribing practices.

“One of the biggest problems in drug use is the overprescribing of medications,” Zoeller said.

A DEA website says prescription drugs are abused more than cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin.

Rasaki also wrote prescriptions while his physician’s license was suspended following his 2012 arrest and conviction on charges he fondled female patients, officials said.

As part of the investigation, an undercover DEA agent posing as a patient videotaped his office visits and received unnecessary prescriptions for Hydrocodone, Percocet and other narcotics, a probable cause affidavit said. The agent allegedly told Rasaki he had pain in his elbow and back, but a medical expert later found that several examinations that were videotaped didn’t meet legal standards.

“Those who overprescribe medications are no different than any other drug dealer,” Wichern said.

Rasaki also allegedly submitted duplicate insurance claims, claims for visits that never happened, and diagnoses that were “upcoded.”

Zoeller said his office also has requested the state licensing board to take action against Rasaki.