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Podiatrist pleads no contest to diverting opioids, insurance fraud

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- A St. Joseph podiatrist pleaded no contest to diverting opioids and health care fraud in court on Thursday, according to Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic.

Dr. Craig Sherwood pleaded no contest to 5 counts of diverting opioids (delivery of schedule 2 controlled substances) and 5 counts of health care fraud.

Dr. Sherwood will surrender his DEA license, which enables him to write prescriptions, and his medical license will be terminated as of December 31.

As part of a plea agreement, the prosecutor's office agreed not to charge Sherwood with additional counts of the same charges, not to pursue other medical related offenses and for his sentence not to include incarceration.

The South West Enforcement Team (SWET) investigation revealed between 2014 and 2016, Sherwood wrote prescriptions in the name of family members who were not patients, and to patients who were encouraged to bring in unused portions of filled prescriptions.

Investigators said many of the prescriptions were paid for by private insurance.

The investigation did not uncover evidence Sherwood was selling opioids or that anyone suffered an opioid overdose.

Sherwood is scheduled to be sentenced on December 11.

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