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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

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    Release No. 09-074

    June 15, 2009


    A physician who operated a medical clinic in Westminster, California pleaded guilty today to federal narcotics charges for writing prescriptions for the powerful and addictive painkiller Oxycodone and the painkiller Hydrocodone for people he did not examine in exchange for as much as $150 in cash for each prescription.

    Vu Le, 45, of Midway City, pleaded guilty to all 15 felony counts in which he was charged with writing prescriptions for Oxycodone and Hydrocodone outside of the usual course of professional practice.  Vu Le was indicted and arrested by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration in December 2006.  His sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2009. 

    Defendant admitted during his guilty plea that in 2005 and 2006 he provided prescriptions to persons seeking controlled substances without a legitimate medical reason in exchange for cash payment.  These individuals came to defendant’s medical office in Westminster and paid $150 in cash in order to be seen by defendant.  After paying this amount, the individuals met with defendant and claimed that they had pain and needed medication.  Defendant then prescribed controlled substances, usually Hydrocodone (a Schedule III controlled substance) and Oxycodone (a Schedule II controlled substance), without further examination, without referral slips and without any other documentation showing a legitimate medical reason for the prescription.  Defendant admitted that his actions in prescribing these controlled substances in this way were outside the scope of professional practice.

    As part of the investigation into Le, DEA agents conducted undercover operations in which they posed as individuals seeking controlled substances.  During the undercover meetings, Le did not examine the undercover agents nor did he take a thorough medical history from them.  Instead, he simply wrote prescriptions for Oxycondone and Hydrocodone in a manner that was outside the usual course of professional practice. 

    Defendant is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge James V. Selna on September 14, 2009.  As a result of his guilty pleas, defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of 135 years imprisonment and possible fines of $6,750,000.   

    The investigation into Vu Le was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.


    Release No. 09-074
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index