News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2008

Miami Beach Doctor Indicted for Patient Death Resulting from Illegal Dispensing of Controlled Substance

FEB 11 -- Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Patrick Lynn, Chief, Davie Police Department, and Delsa R. Bush, Chief, West Palm Beach Police Department, announced the unsealing of a twenty-three count indictment charging Ali Shaygan, a medical doctor, with distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Count 1 charges Shaygan with causing the death of an individual, identified in the Indictment as J.D., as a result of his dispensing of methadone. Shaygan was arrested February 11, 2008.

According to affidavits filed with the court, on June 10, 2007, J.D., a resident of West Palm Beach, Florida, died of combined drug intoxication. Found in the victim’s system at the time of his death were, among other substances, methadone and diazepam. The investigation revealed that three days before his death, the victim received prescriptions for those drugs from the defendant, a licensed physician who practices on Miami Beach.

Shortly thereafter, a multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation was launched regarding the medical practices of the defendant. That investigation uncovered evidence of the defendant’s further distribution of prescriptions outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Specifically, two undercover law enforcement agents obtained twenty additional prescriptions for a wide-variety of drugs, including methadone, roxicodone, Xanax, alprazolam and Norco, from the defendant after cursory medical examinations and without presenting any medical records. Simultaneous with the execution of the arrest warrant in this case, law enforcement agents searched the defendant’s office and residence.

The Indictment, which was returned on February 8, 2008 and unsealed February 11th, charged the defendant with twenty-three separate counts of violating Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), each corresponding to a prescription he illegally sold. Count One specifically alleges that his illegal distribution of methadone led to the victim’s death. If convicted, the defendant faces a possible sentencing ranging from 20 years’ to life imprisonment.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, Davie Police Department and West Palm Beach Police Department for their work in this investigation.