FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 22, 2012
FORMER KANAWHA COUNTY DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL PRESCRIPTION FRAUD
Scheme Centered on Woman with Whom Doctor Had Sexual Relationship
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that a former Kanawha County doctor pleaded guilty in federal court to violating federal drug control laws. Dr. William J. Casto, 55, currently of Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge.
“Sadly, this is our fifth case in recent months against doctors or pharmacists who broke prescription drug laws,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “Doctors swear an oath to do no harm, so it’s especially tragic to see these people fueling our region’s worst crime problem. I hope these cases send a message: There are consequences if you abuse your prescription power.”
Casto admitted that from January 2006 through December 30, 2009, he illegally wrote prescriptions for the powerful painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone totaling approximately 7020 pills, and prescriptions for the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, also known as “Xanax,” totaling approximately 3810 pills. Casto had a medical practice in St. Albans, W.Va., at the time.
Casto wrote many of the prescriptions to an individual identified in his plea agreement as S.S., with whom he previously had a sexual relationship. He also wrote prescriptions for other people at S.S.’s request, even though they were not his patients and he did not examine them.
Casto faces up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on September 24, 2012 by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.
This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, andthe Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Steven Loew is in charge of the prosecution.
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