A Northern Virginia physician pleads guilty to orchestrating and leading an extensive pill mill and attempting to cover up her trail in a related health care fraud case.
Dr Felicia Lyn Donald, age 65, of Great Falls Virginia led, organized and operated an illegal prescription conspiracy between April 2016 and April 2020 according to court documents. While practising medicine at Women OB/GYN Associates and Nova Addiction center, Donald dispensed Schedule II opioids of 1.2 million milligrams with a street value of $ 1.2 million at and above prescribed dosage guidelines a practitioner should observe as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, she dispensed 325,190 milligrams worth of oxycodone and other Schedule II prescription controlled substances. In furtherance to schemes, Donald, on numerous occasions, also committed healthcare fraud.
According to G. Zachary Terwilliger U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Donald blatantly infringed on her oath as a physician and put several lives in harm’s way. According to Zachary, putting the safety and health of American citizens is a crime by federal laws, and individuals with the power to dispense controlled prescription substances should be held answerable for their actions. This he added is especially true during the current ongoing crisis where medical practitioners are relied on to save the lives of the American public.
Additionally, Donald deceptively administered Schedule II opioid pills that she illegitimately dispensed to a close partner, knowing very well that the said partner sold the prescriptions for profit on the streets. Around the same time, Donald also issued alprazalom prescription pills belonging to benzodiazepines class of drugs to her close associate. Donald admittedly says that the combined use of benzodiazepines and opioids is dangerous and could make an individual stop breathing, cause death, or serious bodily injuries to her close associate or the end-users.
A statement by Special Agent in Charge for HHS-OIG Maureen R. Dixon indicated that Felicia Lyn Donald’s actions did not only endanger lives but also fueled the opioid crisis in the country. To prevent criminals from taking advantage of the Medicaid programs and its recipients, her office and other law enforcement agencies will work tirelessly around the clock.
Felicia Lyn Donald admits to having prescribed opioids to drug dealers and addicts who had traveled a long distance to her practice from other states, individuals who have informed her of their unresolved drug charges, individuals Donald was aware had failed to pass the urinal toxicology tests, individuals Donald knew were making profits by selling the substances she had prescribed to them, instead of paying some of her employees through a paycheck, she paid them with opioid prescriptions, issuing blank prescriptions to other of her co-conspirators and other members of her medical office and staff.
Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Kevin Vorndran in a statement says, today’s guilty plea by the defendant goes to show the temptation of greed and the lure to profit illegally at the expense of patients who need treatment. The FBI will not sit and watch from the sidelines medical practitioners’ abuse their oaths with reckless abandon while neglecting their responsibilities towards the patients. Doing away with even one medical practitioner who diverts opioids for selfish gain makes a noteworthy and life-long impact on the lives of the community, especially to the lives of those affected by reckless dispensing and prescribing practices.
Felicia Lyn Donald tried to hide her patterns of engaging in Medicaid fraud and the illegal prescription by forging medical reports to make it appear as though the patients who were never her patients received medical examinations and care while they had not. Donald also fraudulently administered prescriptions to at least nine other unsuspecting patients, none of whom had relations with her. Donald also prescribed high doses of oxycodone to several pregnant women.
Felicia Lyn Donald pleaded guilty to a conspiracy scheme to dispense and distribute prescription controlled substances outside the normal prescribed professional course and without any valid medical reason. When sentenced on August 21, Donald may face up to 30 years in prison as a maximum penalty and will surrender her medical license. Taking into account the U.S. Sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors, a federal district court judge will determine her sentence.
This announcement was made by Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences, Kevin Vorndran; Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Criminal Division; G. Zachary Terwilliger; U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) after the plea was accepted by Leonie M. Brinkema U.S District Judge. Prosecuting the case are Assistant Attorney’s Monika Moore and Raj Parekh.
Do you know of any medical or health practitioner that is involved in fraudulent activities outside their professional oath? Have you been a victim of such health professionals? Do you know of any friend or family member that has gone through the hands of such rogue professionals for reasons that they were vulnerable? If you have answered yes to any of the questions, our legal team would like to hear from you. Individuals with relevant information in regard to the above cases are requested to contact us at 888-402-4054. Your call will go a long way in helping out Healthcare Fraud Group team put a stop to Medicare fraud.