The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to crackdown on opioid prescription violations. Most recently, the government has accused multiple medical professionals of illegally prescribing these medications in exchange for financial gain and sexual favors.
Overall, the government has alleged the case involves 31 doctors behind over 350,000 illegal opioid prescriptions.
What type of evidence is the government using to support these allegations? According to a recent report in The New York Times, prosecution has evidence of a known prostitute texting a physician “Can u get any Xanax?” The prosecution states the physician replied, “What makes you think I know a Xanax Source?” followed by a smiley face emoticon and a description of his home as a “Fun House.”
This is just some of the evidence the DOJ has used to support criminal charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and the conspiracy to obtain controlled substances by fraud. The agency gathered additional evidence through review of prescription records and use of undercover agents.
What has the DOJ threatened? The DOJ has stated the accused could face more than just monetary fines. It is pushing for imprisonment. In some cases, the accused could face up to fifty years of jail time.
In addition to criminal penalties, those that the government has stated are associated with this case could face issues with local licensing boards. Even those who do not face criminal charges could find themselves under review by the licensing board.
After releasing information about the charges, an agent working the investigation stated it was part of a larger operation to crackdown on “corrupt medical professionals.” This serves as a reminder for those who prescribe opioids and other pain pills to do so wisely. The federal government is watching and will investigate and push for the prosecution of those who violate applicable laws and regulations.