DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit-area health care company CEO has pleaded guilty in an investigation into what federal authorities describe as scheme to illegally distribute controlled substances to drug addicts and others.

The Justice Department says 38-year-old Mashiyat Rashid of West Bloomfield, who led the Tri-County Wellness Group of medical providers in Michigan and Ohio, pleaded guilty Monday to charges including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud. Prosecutors say he paid kickbacks to obtain patients and solicited bribes for physicians to refer Medicare beneficiaries.

Rashid agreed to forfeit more than $51 million as part of his plea agreement. Sentencing is April 11.

Some patients got expensive, medically unnecessary and painful injections in order to get pills. Federal prosecutors say some of the opioids involved were resold on the street.

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