Orange County Doctor Sentenced to Over 12 Years For Illegally Prescrib…
On Friday, June 9, a former Orange County physician was sentenced to 151 months in prison for illegally prescribing various opioids and other drugs to patients who did not need them medically.
The convict, Dzung Ahn Pham, pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to distribute controlled substances. Former pharmacist Jennifer Thaoyen Nguyen, who collaborated with Pham, also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and was sentenced in March to 33 months in prison.
Pham prescribed drugs “outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose” to patients. As many pharmacists would not fill Pham’s prescriptions, Pham sent his patients to Nguyen who would knowingly fill the illegal prescriptions.
The scheme involved 18 patients and lasted from 2013 to 2018. In total, Pham prescribed about 54,000 pills of oxycodone, 69,000 pills of hydrocodone, and 29,000 pills of amphetamine salts.
Pham’s patients included some he had not even evaluated. In 2018, prosecutors said that five patients who had been illegally prescribed drugs by Pham died from overdoses.
“[Pham], a licensed physician trusted by society and the patients that went to him, stopped treating patients and, plain and simple, became a drug dealer,” argued Prosecutors. “He turned ‘patients’ into addicts and/or fueled the addictions of drug abusers.”
By Connor Ku