California Doctor Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Writing Oxycontin Prescriptions for Cash
JUL 30 - (LOS ANGELES) – A physician who operated a medical clinic in San Fernando, California was sentenced July 29, 2010, to twenty-five years in prison for writing unlawful prescriptions for the powerful and addictive painkiller oxycodone in exchange for cash.
Masoud Bamdad, 56, of Granada Hills, California, was sentenced on thirteen felony drug distribution counts for writing prescriptions for oxycodone outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. Three of the counts on which Bamdad was sentenced involved illegal prescriptions written for minors under the age of 21.
“Prescription drug abuse continues to rise at disturbing rates,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “This sentence shows that outlaw doctors who choose to profit from drug addiction and abuse will not be tolerated.”
At sentencing, United States District Judge George Wu found that Bamdad’s illegal prescribing of oxycodone resulted in the deaths of two people. Judge Wu then sentenced Bamdad to 20 years in prison on each of the ten counts of unlawful distribution and 25 years in prison on each of the three counts involving unlawful distribution to a minor. The judge ordered all of the terms of imprisonment to run concurrently.
The court also imposed a fine of $1 million and ordered forfeited defendant’s interest in his medical clinic, which had an appraised value of more than $800,000 and was found by the jury to have been used to facilitate defendant’s crimes.
Bamdad was convicted in May 2009 following a two-week jury trial. The evidence presented at trial showed that Bamdad accepted cash payments for writing huge numbers of prescriptions for narcotics sold under brand names such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax. In at least one case, Bamdad wrote prescriptions for people who had not come to his office.
As part of the investigation of Bamdad’s activities, DEA agents conducted undercover operations in which they posed as people seeking drugs. In encounters captured on undercover videotape that was shown to the jury, Bamdad wrote prescriptions after brief visits, calling one undercover agent a drug addict and receiving cash payments that he simply put into his pocket. During the undercover meetings, Bamdad prescribed narcotic pain medications despite the undercover agents' statements that they were not experiencing significant pain, that they were taking them for enjoyment, or that they were seeking narcotic prescription medications on behalf of others. During one meeting, Bamdad and an undercover agent discussed the street price of OxyContin.
Testimony at Bamdad’s trial showed that in 2007 Bamdad was the number three prescriber of oxycodone in California.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which received assistance from the Costa Mesa Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the San Fernando Police Department, the Baldwin Park Police Department and the Medical Board of California.