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Doctor Found Guilty of Illegal Distribution of Drugs

AUG 15 (LOS ANGELES) –A Los Angeles-area doctor has been found guilty of federal charges for illegally distributing powerful prescription painkillers and laundering the proceeds of his drug trafficking operation.

Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of La Mirada, was found guilty late Thursday by a federal jury in Los Angeles.

Following a three-day trial, the jury convicted Sun of 17 felony counts, including three counts of money laundering. Sun was found of guilty distributing controlled substances outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, including distribution of hydrocodone (Vicodin), alprazolam (Xanax), carisoprodol (Soma), and promethazine with codeine.

As a result of the guilty verdicts, Sun faces a maximum sentence of 157 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on November 10.

The case presented by federal prosecutors demonstrated Sun profited by prescribing addictive pain medicines and other controlled substances to persons whom he believed were drug addicts.  The evidence at trial showed he operated clinics in the cities of San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, where he issued more than 24,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and generated over $1 million in cash proceeds. 

Agents conducted a series of undercover operations at Sun’s clinic. During each one, Sun failed to conduct any physical examination and sold prescriptions for $150 in cash – even when he believed he was writing prescriptions for drug addicts. The jury heard recordings in which Sun told his “patients” what symptoms they should feel in an effort to justify prescriptions for potent painkillers. Sun also falsified records he submitted to the California Medical Board by reporting diagnoses never mentioned during his examinations.

An August 25th hearing is scheduled where the court will decide if Sun will be ordered to forfeit nearly $350,000 in drug proceeds previously seized by the government.

The investigation into Sun was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS - Criminal Investigation Service, the California Medical Board, the California Department of Health Care Services, and the Monterey Park Police Department.

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