By Jon King /

A Grand Blanc man was sentenced to prison Tuesday for his role in running what federal prosecutors called a “complex fraud and kickback scheme” that involved a Fenton Township healthcare facility.

46-year-old Patrick Wittbrodt was sentenced to four years behind bars by U.S. District Judge Laurie Michelson, who also ordered two years of supervised release. In addition, Wittbrodt was ordered to pay $7.3 million in restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and just over $900,000 to Medicare.

According to court documents, Wittbrodt and his co-defendants caused an approximate $8 million loss to Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, with some of that money stolen from UAW members’ prescription insurance accounts. Prosecutors say that Wittbrodt and his co-defendant, Jeffrey Filmore, would “tout pain cream, scar cream, pain patches and vitamins” at various UAW meetings in which members were told they could receive their prescriptions for free, without disclosing that the union’s health care fund would instead be charged millions of dollars.

The prescriptions were then authorized by a third co-defendant, April Tyler, a former osteopathic physician who owned and operated Fenton Creative Healthcare. Authorities say Tyler, who previously pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced last month, did not conduct physical exams nor establish a doctor-patient relationship before prescribing the medications. Fillmore will be sentenced for his role in the scheme on November 23rd.

In a press release, Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin said “The unlawful actions of these defendants diverted taxpayer dollars and medications from patients who actually needed them in order to line their own pockets. We will continue to aggressively prosecute health care fraud and hold those who commit it accountable.”