News and Press Releases

Freeport Physician Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud and Unlawful Dispensing Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2013

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Freeport physician Robert L. Ignasiak, Jr., 58, pled guilty today to 12 counts of health care fraud, 29 counts of illegally distributing controlled substances, and one count of failing to appear for trial.  The plea was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Between 2001 and 2005, while operating the Freeport Medical Clinic, Ignasiak developed a reputation as a physician who freely prescribed highly addictive controlled substances.  During that time, he prescribed drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, diazepam, and alprazolam in quantities, dosages, and combinations that caused his patients to abuse, misuse, and become addicted to the drugs.  He continued to prescribe these substances even after becoming aware that his patients were abusing them.  He did so despite indications that his patients were not taking the medicines as prescribed, were stealing drugs, were “doctor shopping,” were taking the medicines with alcohol, and were suffering overdoses.

Ignasiak was initially indicted on these charges in 2008.  Following a jury trial, he was convicted of 12 counts of health care fraud and 31 counts of illegally distributing controlled substances.  Ignasiak’s convictions were reversed on appeal in 2012.  He was released from custody, and a retrial was scheduled.  On October 31, 2012, Ignasiak faked his own suicide and became a fugitive from justice.  Almost a year later, in September 2013, he was arrested in Coral Springs, Florida, while handing out leaflets for a pressure washing company, under a false name. 

Ignasiak will be sentenced on January 14, 2014, by Senior United States District Judge Lacey Collier.  He faces maximum prison sentences of 10 years for health care fraud, 20 years for drug distribution, and 10 years for failure to appear.

The case resulted from a four-year investigation by the North Florida Health Care Fraud Task Force, comprised of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Drug Intelligence Center Document Exploitation Division, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Financial Services, and State Surgeon General, Florida Department of Health.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Rhew-Miller and Alicia Kim prosecuted this case. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Stay Connected with Twitter
What Makes Schools Safer? Using science to discover what works. Federal funding available. Visit NIJ.gov, keywords: 'comprehensive school safety intiative'
Got Drugs? dispose unused RX
The Medicine Abuse Project The Partnership at Drugfree.org Supporter
Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.