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    Jury convicts alligator-wrestling doctor from Michigan in $120M fraud case


    Detroit — An alligator-wrestling surgeon from Woodhaven was convicted following a jury trial and after being accused of masterminding a more than $100 million health care fraud scheme — one of the largest in U.S. history.

    Dr. Frank Patino, 66, prescribed excessive amounts of opioids to patients at his Livonia clinic, subjected clients to unnecessary and painful spinal injections that yielded lucrative payments for his medical practice. Prosecutors also accused him of laundering money through a vanity diet program and spending money sponsoring mixed martial arts fighters.

    Jurors convicted Patino following a nine-day trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud; two counts of health care fraud; one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of money laundering. Patino was the first person to stand trial in a criminal case in federal court in Detroit since the start of the pandemic.

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