A Houston doctor could face life in prison after a jury convicted him of running a pill mill, and related crimes. Federal officials investigated the 71-year-old former oncologist after discovering that he prescribed 1.6 million oxycodone pills in two years. Patients testified that the doctor charged them $200 to $240 cash for their first office visit, at which time he wrote them prescriptions for oxycodone or hydrocodone; money orders then secured future prescriptions. During the trial, a defense expert witness physician testified that he was surprised that more than 800 of the patients were from the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area.
After a 14-day trial and 8 hours of deliberation, the jury convicted the doctor of all 19 charges: eight counts of mail fraud, five counts of illegal distribution of narcotics, five counts of money laundering, and conspiracy. He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to $5 million in fines at his October 17th sentencing. He was indicted in January for the conspiracy that ran from 2008 until 2013.
Read more via Courthouse News Service here.