Pharmacy owner accused of fraud wants out of jail

DETROIT (AP) -- Friends of a Detroit-area pharmacy owner are willing to put up their houses as collateral if it would ensure his release from jail on fraud charges.

Babubhai Patel has been locked up since last week. He's charged with about $60 million in health care fraud at his pharmacies.

Patel was back in court Tuesday, but a federal judge didn't make a decision. The hearing resumes Friday.

Prosecutors want the Canton Township man to stay in jail until trial. He's accused of giving kickbacks to doctors to write prescriptions and send people to Patel's pharmacies. The government says the painkillers were unnecessary or not provided.

Prosecutors call it a brazen scheme to cheat Medicare and Medicaid. Patel is the vice chairman of the Canton Hindu temple. He's pleaded not guilty.

Published: Thu, Aug 11, 2011