A Tennessee doctor faces a decades-long prison sentence after being charged in connection with “a massive opioid distribution and healthcare fraud scheme,” according to authorities.
Dr. Samson Orusa was charged Thursday with “maintaining a drug-involved premises, 22 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance outside the bounds of professional medical practice, 13 counts of healthcare fraud; and nine counts of money laundering,” ABC News reported.
Orusa allegedly prescribed oxymorphone; Soma, a muscle relaxer; and alprazolam, anti-anxiety medication, which could be a potentially dangerous combination. In fact, one patient overdosed from the combination, according to the indictment. These “Schedule II” drugs have a high potential for abuse, but Orusa wrote nearly 2,500 prescriptions between July and August 2018, authorities said.
“Anyone who contributes to the opioid epidemic plaguing this nation should expect to be targeted by our law enforcement partners and held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Dan Cochran, according to ABC.
In addition, the government alleges that Orusa “defrauded health insurance benefit providers such as Medicare and that he transferred money to disguise ‘the nature of the unlawful activity,’” the television news outlet reported.
Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Louisville Field Division, had some choice words for all the reckless doctors out there.
“The arrest of Dr. Orusa should serve as a warning to all doctors who fail to practice medicine in an ethical and responsible manner,” Evans said in a statement. “The men and women of DEA are committed to using every available resource to stop the flow of drugs into our communities, especially when the drug dealer is a physician.”