Alexandria, Virginia- A Fairfax based doctor charged with conspiracy to lead and organize a vast and illegal distribution of prescriptions and a health care fraud-related scheme, admitted guilt to the indictment on 4th May 2020.
Between April 2016 to April 2020, as alleged in the court affidavit, Dr. Felicia L. Donald from Great Fall, age 65, assembled, guided, and controlled a “pill mill” prescription. Dr. Donald performed medicine at NOVA Addiction Center and For OB/GYN Women Associates. It is alleged that Donald dispersed more than 1.2 million mg of Schedule II opioids, worth more than 1.2 million U.S dollars, breaking the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) instructions that doctors should observe. Donald unlawfully dispersed over 325,190 mg of oxycodone with other Schedule II managed substances. Besides, Dr. Donald executed Health Care related fraud on several occasions in the advancement of her scheme.
U.S. Attorney Zachary G. Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia stated that Dr. Donald breached the doctors’ oath putting a majority of lives in danger. Further states that it is censorious that those given the mandate of prescribing managed substance to answerable for their actions, and it is a federal offense to endanger the safety and health of the American citizens. This is specifically true because we are depending on the medical physicians to save lives during this period of COVID -19 pandemic.
Furthermore, it is alleged that Dr. Donald was fraudulently prescribing Schedule II opioid pills and illegally distributing them to her close associates with the knowledge that her associates sold the prescribed pills on the streets for cash. Donald, during that time, distributed prescriptions for alprazolam pills belonging to the benzodiazepines’ class of drugs to her close associate. Dr. Donald acknowledged that the usage of benzodiazepines-opioids is dangerous and the composition of these combinations is very harmful and can stop breathing leading to death or more body injuries to the final user or even her close associate.
Special Agent Maureen R. Dixon in Charge of the HHS-OIG said that the deeds of Dr. Donald charged the U.S opioid’s predicament putting the lives of Americans at risk. Further assured the department, jointly with other law enforcement partners, is determined to prevent culprits from devouring the benefits and programs of Medicaid.
Dr. Donald acknowledged that she was prescribing Schedule II opioids to drug traffickers and or addicts who moved from other States or far to her practices; persons who notified her about their ongoing drug accusations; persons that Donald realized had not passed the toxicology urine tests; persons Donald knew were distributing the opioid pills prescribed to them for profits; reimbursing certain workers with prescribed opioids instead of paychecks, and offering blanks prescriptions to selected members of her medical office team and fellow conspirators for their use.
According to Acting Special Agent Kevin Vorndran in Charge of the FBI Field Offices Criminal Division of Washington, the plea of guilt was illustrating the allure of greed and making profits at the cost of those with treatment needs. Further assured that the FBI will rest whilst medical physicians are breaching their oaths and deserting their mandates to patients. Firing doctors who are redirecting Schedule II opioids for cash results to a remarkable long-lasting effect in a community, specifically in the lives of those hit by the careless prescribing and distributing practices.
Dr. Donald falsified medical statements to make them seem real as if persons who were not her clients received medical care and evaluations while trying to cover her illegal prescription patterns hence committing Medicaid fraud. She gave fraudulent prescriptions to other individuals in the names of over nine unsuspecting persons, where none of whom were Donald’s clients. Besides, Dr. Donald gave high doses of oxycodone prescriptions to multiple pregnant ladies.
Dr. Donald took a guilty plea for conspiring to dispense and distribute Schedule II controlled substances without a valid medical motive outside the usual professional practice, and health care fraud scheme. Donald acceded to cede her medical license and serve a maximum sentence of thirty years in federal prison when convicted on 21st August 2020. An authentic penalty for a federal offense is generally less and does not exceed the maximum sentences. A federal judge in a district court will take into account the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors to decide whichever sentence.
Special Agent Maureen R. Dixon in Charge of the HHS-OIG, Acting Special Agent Kevin Vorndran in Charge of the FBI Field Offices Criminal Division of Washington, U.S. Attorney Zachary G. Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia reported after Leonie M. Brinkema, U.S District Judge, accepted the guilty plea. U.S Assistant Attorneys Monica and Raj Parekh are the prosecutors prosecuting this criminal case.
Persons who commit a Health Care Fraud and opioid conspiracy may face severe penalties. This is because opioid conspiracy and health care fraud are serious criminal offenses that are severely punished under the law. In case you are accused of these offenses, you must look for legal assistance to pursue and protect your rights. The Healthcare Fraud Group comprises the best criminal defense attorneys with extensive experience and provides the best possible service to achieve the result. Our team clearly understands the need to prove innocence after accusation of any offense. Contact us today at 888-402-4054 for any legal assistance you may need.