Two More Doctor Drug-Pushers Locked Up. Some Things Just Never Change

dr-christensen-fox

Dr John Christensen; Dr Stuart Fox

 

In Palm Beach County Florida another physician was sent off to state prison this month after being found guilty of narcotic drug pushing. And his daffy-doc buddy won’t be far behind.

Doctor Stuart Fox, age 65, walked out of Judge Dina Keever’s courtroom with his hands in shackles. He is merely one of more than 300 physicians nationside convicted last year for drug-pushing – specifically in his case, Conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone.

The end of this sordid case – which began when Fox was arrested in 2013 –came 10 days after Judge Keever held off sentencing his former partner in crime, Doctor John Christensen. Christensen, also 65, had already confessed in court to being responsible for 2 patient overdose deaths, as well as Conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

A former Palm Beach County doctor, John Christensen, was sentenced to just 1 year in federal prison on healthcare fraud. As part of a plea arrangement with state prosecutors, the federal sentence will serve as Christensen’s punishment for the overdose deaths of 2 patients, along with a conspiracy to traffic oxycodone charge.

Christensen, who had owned and operated 3 clinics in Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach and  Port St. Lucie, also begins his prison term this month. Authorities said Fox worked at Christensen’s West Palm Beach office. Both MDs were arrested on July 11, 2013, on similar drug scheme charges.

Christensen was originally charged with 2 counts of First Degree Murder, but the charges were reduced to Manslaughter in exchange for a guilty plea. He took responsibility for the deaths of Florence Garrett on Sept. 27, 2007, and Pawel Staniszewski on Aug. 7, 2008 – both were residents of West Palm Beach. The former doctor was accused of prescribing oxycodone and an anti-anxiety drug to Garrett, and prescribing methadone to Staniszewski, before they died.

Here’s another look at this case:

http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/doctor-charged-murder-overdoses#stream/0

Doctor/Drug-Dealer in Trouble. New Year . . . Same Old Healthcare Scamsters

dr-albert-r-cowie

There was a time, not that long ago, when Albert R. Cowie was a well-known and well-regarded radiologist with a growing suburban practice.

Now, he’s a recovering drug addict facing a recommended sentence of 33 months in federal prison.

Cowie, a 38-year-old graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, was scheduled to appear in court Monday, but his sentencing was postponed just hours before his appearance. As part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Cowie admitted writing fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers and using them to feed his own drug problem.

“I was addicted to those medications,” Cowie told U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo last year. “I issued scripts for those medications and then used some of those medications.”

In his plea agreement, Cowie said he wrote illegal prescriptions for his now-former wife, but prosecutors claim he also wrote them for two others and, in each case, received some of the painkillers for his personal use.

He pleaded guilty to two felony charges, health care fraud and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

“It started with Lortab,” Cowie said of the numerous painkillers he took over the years, “and then Percocet.”

Arrested in 2015 outside his offices at Diagnostic Imaging Associates in Amherst, Cowie was initially accused of writing 280 illegal prescriptions over a four-year period ending in early 2014. He also was charged with establishing a relationship with a prostitute, injecting her with heroin on one occasion and later giving her prescriptions for Xanax and Percocet.

Cowie did not admit to those crimes as part of his plea deal, but prosecutors said he agreed the allegations at the root of those charges could be considered by the court in weighing a prison sentence.

Cowie, who received his undergraduate degree from Canisius College, is the fifth Western New York doctor to be charged with distributing illegal drugs over the past several years. His guilty plea last year came just 3 days after Dr. Pravin V. Mehta of Niagara Falls was sentenced to 2 years in prison for illegally dispensing pain medication.

At the time of Cowie’s guilty plea last year, defense attorney Robert M. Goldstein said the future of his client’s medical license was still up in the air.

Cowie reportedly signed a consent decree with the state that will delay action on his license until after his sentencing. He is currently without the authority to prescribe medications.

Cowie’s guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and Amherst Police.

(We thank reporter Phil Fairbanks of The Buffalo News for this story)

Another Month – Another Legally Drugged-Up, Totally Dead Celebrity

chyna

Death by overdose

It was last Spring when professional wrestler Chyna was found dead in her home in Southern California. And this week the L.A. County Coroner reports the reason she died at age 46: it was due to her damnable tendency to pop prescription pills while swigging cheap wine.

Chyna, whose real name was Joan Laurer, was found dead in her Redondo Beach condo by a friend on the morning of April 20. (Incidentally, Prince collapsed and died the same way the very next morning) And now after 8 months, her toxicology report shows she was abusing alcohol as well as a seriously lethal combination of narcotics: oxycodone, oxymorphone and valium.

Even at a young age Chyna was 5’10” and physically gifted. She started working out in a local gym as a teenager in Rochester New York, and within 10 years was able to bench press well over 300 pounds. She moved to California and achieved fame as a wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation over an 8-year period that began in 1997. She was the first woman to ever compete in the King of the Ring matches, and defeated several well-known male wrestlers – including  world champions Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Jeff Jarrett.
prince

Death by overdose

In 2008 Chyna was interviewed on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,  and discussed growing up in a home rife with physical abuse and alcoholism.

Unfortunately, living and working in the alternative universe of celebrity in Los Angeles later in life, she would have no problem at all finding a physician perfectly willing to prostitute himself, by providing her with all the drugs she might need to kill herself.
michael-jackson-body

Death by overdose

In case you’re interested, here are just a few other extremely well-known, outwardly successful celebrities who were led to the grave by their doctor/drug dealers:
  • Corey Haim, 38, actor
  • Brittany Murphy, 32, actress
  • Lesley Carter, 25, actress
  • Paul DeMayo, 37, bodybuilder
  • Eric Douglas, 36, actor, comedian
  • Gidget Gein, 39, musician
  • Peaches Geldof, 25, fashion model
  • Lisa Robin Kelly, 43, actress
  • Bobby Hatfield, 63, Righteous Brothers vocalist
  • Heath Ledger, 28, actor
  • John Pinette, 50, actor
  • Anna Nicole Smith, 39, former Playmate of the Year
  • Michael Jackson, 50, singer
  • Amy Winehouse, 27, musician
  • Steve Bechler, 23, Baltimore Orioles pitcher
  • Vic Chesnutt, 45, musician
  • Greg Geraldo, 44, comedian
  • James “Ultimate Warrior” Hellwig, 54, professional wrestler
  • Corey Monteith, 31, actor
  • Amy Tryon, 42, Olympic equestrian
  • Brian Adams, 38, singer/songwriter
  • Bridgette Andersen, 22, actress
  • Matthew Ansara, 35, actor, bodybuilder
  • Erica Blasberg, 28, professional golfer
  • John Belushi, 36, comedian
  • Len Bias, 23, basketball player
  • Elisa Bridges, 28, Playboy Playmate
  • Ken Caminiti, 42, baseball player
  • Andy Irons, 32, professional surfer
  • Christopher Bowman, 40, figure skater
  • Lisa Robin Kelly, 43, actress
  • Brian Epstein, 34, entertainment manager
  • Chris Farley, 33, comedian
  • Thomas Kincade, 54, artist
  • Adrienne Nicole Martin, 27, model
  • Danny Gans, 52, Las Vegas magician
  • Margaux Hemingway, 42, model
  • Mitch Hedberg, 37, comedian
  • Anissa Jones, 18, child actress
  • Chris Kelly, 34, musician
  • Derek Boogaard, 28, professional ice hockey player
  • Billy Mays, 51, TV salesperson
  • Michael Carl Baze, 24, horse jockey
  • River Phoenix, 23, actor
  • Dana Plato, 34, actress
  • Freddie Prinze, 22, actor, comedian
  • Rachel Roberts, 36, actress
  • Whitney Houston, 48, singer
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman, 46, actor
  • Prince, 57, musician

But here’s a cool idea: let’s all keep pretending we don’t live in the Twilight Zone. Keep splattering drug commercials a thousand times daily across every network in America. Look how well that’s working out for a pill-popping, stoned-out-of-our-heads  nation.

Aren’t we the pride of the planet.

So Who’s REALLY Drugging The Citizenry Straight to the Cemetery?

Still another in a long line of Los Angeles-area physicians has been found guilty of outright drug-dealing, according to the L.A. County District Attorney. Doctor Gerard  Geoffrey Goryl of Redondo Beach was convicted last week of Narcotics Trafficking.

dr-gerard-g-goryl

America’s drug-deaths are off-the-chart appalling. So who’s minding the store? Answer? Those who profit the most. It ain’t rocket science, folks.

Goryl, a 61-year-old neurologist, chose not to contest the 38 felony charges, which included criminally prescribing controlled substances, as well as criminal possession for sale, of controlled substances.

Investigators discovered that Goryl – along with another fool named Will Arvizo, age 69 – owned and operated a sham medical clinic called A Better Weigh on Artesia Boulevard in Redondo Beach. Undercover investigators posing as “patients” were routinely able to buy drugs such as Xanax and hydrocodone with no medical need and with no physical exam performed.

drug-death-chart

Goryl was arrested October 21, 2014, after Redondo Beach Police and the DEA discovered he leased a public storage locker full of narcotics.

The daffy drug-pushing doctor is scheduled to be sentenced in the first week of January to at least 4 years in prison, according to a D.A. press announcement

Arvizo could get an 8-year state prison term.

Here’s another look at these stethoscope scamsters:

http://lbpost.com/news/crime/2000005022-redondo-beach-doctor-pleads-not-guilty-for-illegal-possession-of-pills-stashed-in-long-beach-storage-facility

Florida MD Smuggles Counterfeit Drugs; Rips Off and Lies to Cancer Patients. So Who’s Surprised?

dr-diana-anda-norbergs

In lab coats, drug-scammers look almost normal, don’t they?

In the greater Tampa area a cancer specialist has been found guilty on 17 charges of Receipt of Counterfeit Drugs; 12 charges of Illegal Drug Smuggling; 10 counts of Healthcare Fraud and 5 charges of International Mail Fraud.

Federal investigators discovered that patients at East Lake Oncology in Palm Harbor had no idea that for 6 years Doctor Diana Anda Norbergs and her medical staff, were pushing illegal, misbranded drugs into their veins, including counterfeit chemotherapy drugs, that were never approved in the United States.

Prosecutors were able to prove that Norbergs routinely billed the federal Medicare insurance program, as well as numerous private insurance providers, for the cheaper, unapproved medications, and charge for the approved, more expensive drugs. She would then lie to patients, convincing them they were receiving FDA-approved drugs, when they were actually being smuggled into the U.S. from Germany, India and Turkey.

In fact, as far back as 2009, Norbergs was ordering unapproved drugs from foreign, unlicensed distributors. The drugs she ordered were cheaper versions of legitimate cancer meds from overseas, and were often mislabeled. At least one distributor – Quality Specialty Products – was known to have sold cancer meds that were missing vital ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

This dangerous physician did not care, because patient safety was not nearly as important to her as amassing wealth. She continued to order the questionable  meds, and in fact purchased $700,000 worth of misbranded, unapproved drugs in a single month in 2011 alone.

Norbergs was arrested in June, 2015. When she is sentenced in February, she faces a jaw-dropping 500 years in prison.

 Here’s another look:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/palm-harbor-oncologist-indicted-buying-unapproved-cancer-medications-foreign-sources

Are Doctors ‘Smarter Than a 5th-Grader?’ Not This Doggy Dimwit

dog-x-ray

You’ll kindly note the tail.

A Southern California physician found guilty of blatant drug-dealing was sentenced last month to 3 years in Los Angeles County Jail.

According to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, Doctor Richard Seongjun Kim, age 44, was convicted on 17 charges of Illegally Prescribing Narcotics on September 20. He owned and operated a small clinic on Western Avenue in Rancho Palos Verdes.

dr-richard-s-kim

Don’t bother  setting an appointment here. The doctor can’t see you today.

Using undercover agents working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to act as patients, law enforcement officers carried patient medical charts and x-rays into Kim’s clinic to support their request for pain medications.  One undercover “patient” brought in an x-ray of a large dog. Kim studied the film and then agreed that the patient’s “condition” merited narcotics to control the “pain.”

Investigators revealed that over a 90-day period in 2014 alone, the drug-dealing doctor wrote numerous prescriptions for Norco, Xanax, Soma and Adderall to so-called patients,  after performing no physical exams, taking no patient histories, writing no notes nor creating any medical charts.

Some folks think we make this stuff up.

Here’s another look:

http://patch.com/california/palosverdes/rpv-doctor-arrested-prescription-drug-abuse-case

 

 

How Well Does Physician Discipline Work? Check Out This Lab Coat Loon’s Case Before You Answer

dr-james-randall-long

Dr James Randall Long. Don’t some criminals look almost normal?

“This doctor admitted he abused the public trust as a physician authorized to dispense controlled substances. He misused his medical license to prescribe a potentially lethal drug to a woman he knew had a substance abuse problem.” ( Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney)

In Lexington North Carolina still another physician has joined the National Practitioner Data Bank’s appalling list of doctor drug-pushers. Doctor James Randall Long confessed in October to Felony Distribution of Narcotics.

Lame-brain Long, age 56, appeared in a U.S. District Court in North Carolina before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer, and admitted that he routinely wrote prescriptions for the drug, knowing that it was outside the scope of professional practice. He was providing the narcotics to a woman in return for sexual favors. He told the court that he knew the woman was a drug addict. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that addicts often turn to because of its intense sensation of euphoria. It is far stronger than heroin with often fatal side effects.

Long also admitted that he wrote narcotic prescriptions in other peoples’ names, many of whom had no idea their names were being used in a drug scam.

Now, did any of this surprise the North Carolina Medical Board? It certainly shouldn’t have. This shameful physician has been scamming systems and pushing drugs for years. As far back as October 2004, the Board discovered Long was writing illegal narcotic prescriptions to another patient he was having an affair with. Did they revoke his license for drug-pushing and/or having a sexual relationship with a patient? Of course not. They spanked his drug-dealing, horny-toad butt with a – now hold your ponies here – a 4-week license suspension. And they told him to take a “class” called Physicians Health Program.

That oughta teach him, right? 

Guess not. In March 2008, Long was arrested for stealing the Dish Network satellite television signals, by using DreamBox media devices. What did the medical board do to this juvenile delinquent in a lab coat?

They told him to please not commit crimes anymore.

Grab your guppies. That’ll teach him.

So now, Doctor James Randall Long could get a prison term of 20 years and a $1,000,000 fine.

We can promise you this: He won’t get either one.

America love’s its bad boy doctors. Yes, we do. And absolutely nobody loves and shelters them from their own screwy behavior – nobody protects dangerous doctors more than state medical boards. Who makes up state medical boards, which are honor-bound to ensure public safety and  discipline doctors?

Why . . . other doctors.

Is that a sweet swindle, or what?

Here’s more:

http://www.greensboro.com/ap/lexington-doctor-pleads-guilty-in-federal-court-to-unlawful-distribution/article_a19da1fb-82b2-5b52-8dcf-b35d98eb60d4.html