Cincinnati, Ohio - The owner of a Cincinnati-area medical practice pleaded guilty Monday for illegally distributing opioids.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement.
Raymond Noschang, M.D., 59, of Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty to eight counts of unlawful distribution of oxycodone before U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott of the Southern District of Ohio. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
As part of his guilty plea, Noschang admitted that he prescribed controlled substances to patients in amounts and for lengths of time that were outside the scope of legitimate medical practice. Noschang also admitted that he routinely prescribed controlled substances to patients even though various “red flags” suggested that he should stop writing those prescriptions, change the prescriptions and/or counsel patients accordingly. Further, Noschang admitted that he prescribed dangerous combinations of drugs known to heighten the risk of overdose and death.
As part of his guilty plea, Noschang admitted that the amount of drugs attributable to his conduct is between 400 and 700 kilograms of converted drug weight.
The DEA, HHS-OIG and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Tom Tynan, Leslie Garthwaite and Chris Jason of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the ARPO Strike Force. Since its inception in October 2018, the ARPO Strike Force, which operates in 10 districts, has charged more than 70 defendants who are collectively responsible for distributing more than 40 million pills. The Health Care Fraud Unit, in general, maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, and has charged nearly 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $15 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.