Lansing podiatrist pleads guilty to unlawfully prescribing opioids for sexual favors, cash – Lansing State Journal

DETROIT — A Lansing podiatrist entered a guilty plea Monday for his role in a sex-for-drugs diversion scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan announced in a press release.
Maninder Deswal was charged with unlawfully prescribing oxycodone-acetaminophen and hydrocodone-acetaminophen — also known as Percocet and Norco, two highly addictive opioids — to “various women outside the course of professional medical practice,” according to the release.
“From December 2018 to September 2020, Dr. Deswal would issue controlled substance prescriptions to women in exchange for cash payments, sexual favors, and/or other illicit drugs,” the release said. “These women were not patients and issuing them prescriptions was not for legitimate medical purposes, but rather personal consumption and further drug diversion.”
A sentencing hearing will occur May 24 at 3:30 p.m. in front of U.S. District Judge Judith Levy.
Deswal, 44, is a certified doctor of podiatric medicine at Lansing Podiatry in East Lansing, according to the practice’s website. A member of the American Podiatric Association and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, he is also affiliated with McLaren Greater Lansing and Sparrow Hospital.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandy R. McMillion, the district’s opioid fraud abuse and detection prosecutor. That unit is a Department of Justice initiative that designates 12 special prosecutors across the country to target medical professionals who are furthering the country’s opioid epidemic.
More: Michigan doctors tossed in jail for fueling opioid epidemic: They’re ‘killing us’
Overdose deaths in Michigan have trended upwards in recent years, according to a state dashboard. In 2020, the most recent full year of data, 2,738 people died from opioid overdoses statewide.
Contact reporter Jared Weber at 517-582-3937 or jtweber@lsj.com.

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