Michigan AG Dana Nessel Charges Lansing Physician with Medicaid Fraud

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517-355-7666
Agency: Attorney General

April 9, 2019

LANSING – Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced that Mason, Michigan physician Steven Owens, 65, has been charged with four felony counts of Medicaid Fraud arising from overprescribing opioids to an undercover special agent with the Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division. 

Following a tip, the Health Care Fraud Division conducted an undercover investigation. The Attorney General alleges that Owens wrote several prescriptions for Norco, a pain killer, when no pain or injury was indicated by the patient (the undercover special agent).

Owens is charged with:

  • One felony count of Medicaid Fraud False Claim, a maximum sentence of four years in prison and/or $50,000; and
  • Three felony counts of Medicaid Fraud – Medically Unnecessary, a maximum sentence of four years in prison and/or $50,000.

“There is an opioid epidemic going on in this country and almost every Michigan resident knows someone who is affected by it,” said Attorney General Nessel.  “While the vast majority of physicians are ethical in how they use opioids, our Health Care Fraud Division is working tirelessly to find those prescribers who are contributing to the problem.”      

Owens was arraigned in the 54B District Court in East Lansing on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 by Judge Richard Ball and given a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. A pre-exam conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 19, followed by a preliminary exam at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 25.

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PLEASE NOTE: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.