News and Press Releases


May 22, 2012

SAVANNAH, GA: Dr. Hung Thien Ly, 54, a medical doctor who previously practiced in Pooler, Geogia was found guilty by a jury in the United States District Court in Savannah of 129 counts of dispensing drugs outside the course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical reason. The jury returned their guilty verdicts on Friday, May 18, 2012, after a 5-day trial. This was the second time a jury convicted Dr. Ly. In 2011, Ly’s original conviction was set aside by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on technical grounds.

According to the evidence presented at trial, during an 18-month period in 2004 and 2005, Ly ordered 199,000 generic hydrocodone and acetaminophen tablets from pharmaceutical companies. In turn, he dispensed those to his customer-patients who paid about $100 a visit. Ly required his customer-patients to come see him every 10 or 14 days. In that period, he never took the vital signs of a patient after the first visit, never referred a single patient out for a test or screen of any kind, never referred a patient out for physical therapy, and did little more than sell them hydrocodone and generic Xanax (alprazalam). Ly also had no employees in his Pooler office, made no appointments, did not accept any form of payment other than cash.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “This defendant was a drug dealer posing as a doctor. In our efforts to rid this District of drug traffickers, the United States Attorney’s Office will investigate and prosecute any manner of drug dealer, including those that hide behind a medical license.”

Brian Rucker, Group Supervisor of the DEA Savannah Diversion Unit said, “Just because it was pharmaceutical drugs that Ly peddled didn’t make it any different than if it had been hawking cocaine or heroin on the street.”

The case was investigated by three agencies: the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Savannah Diversion Unit; the Georgia Drug and Narcotics Agency; and, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team. Assistant United States Attorneys Joe Newman and Greg Gilluly prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For further information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.


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