Doctor And Staffer Face Opioid Distribution Charges
A Florida doctor and his worker are facing charges related to the illegal distribution of opioids to patients under an indictment recently unsealed by federal prosecutors. Prosecutors allege that the doctor and his worker distributed opioids to those without a genuine medical need, falsified urine samples, and otherwise made a lot of money on repeat customers who were addicted to the pills.
The doctor is accused of distributing opioids outside of medically authorized use, money laundering, and related charges. The worker is facing a 20-year sentence on the charges while the doctor faces 20 years on the conspiracy charge and an additional 20 years per every unlawful distribution of opioids. The government currently has evidence of at least 15. The government is also charging the doctor with four counts of money laundering. The doctor has also faced the seizure of two bank accounts and two real estate properties that were purchased with illegal proceeds. The worker, who performed nursing and receptionist duties, is accused of salving the concerns of pharmacists who called to make sure that the prescriptions were valid.
Understanding the investigation
Federal authorities arranged appointments at the doctor’s clinic. Over the course of 20 months, they were able to amass sufficient evidence against the doctor to put him away for the rest of his life. The government will still need to prove that the doctor issued prescriptions without a valid medical reason. They will likely establish this with undercover plants who will discuss what the doctor did and didn’t do during their appointments.
In cases where a patient (even a fake undercover officer) says that they have a pain issue, the doctor would then check the patient’s chart to ensure that the opioids did not interact poorly with their medications. In other cases, the patient may have a history of substance abuse. In both cases, the patient would not be authorized to take addictive pain pills. Nonetheless, the doctor may be able to offer a medically justifiable reason. But that won’t explain how he made so much money dealing opioids to patients, and it won’t explain why he had to launder the proceeds of his practice.
In other words, the government knows he was doing something illegal because he did something to cover up the illegal things that he was doing. It doesn’t look good because it isn’t good. It looks like the doctor knew what he was doing was illegal but liked the money so he continued doing it anyway.
In most cases against doctors, the doctors do try to medically justify their actions. It will be difficult for this particular doctor to do that in this case, but that is still his best defense to the allegations.
Talk to a Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
The Matassini Law Firm fights to protect the rights and due process of those charged with crimes under federal law. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can discuss your next moves immediately.