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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 25, 2022

Federal Court Bars Grand Rapids Physician From Prescribing Controlled Substances And Orders Civil Judgment Over Forged Opioid Prescriptions

          GRAND RAPIDS – David D. Sova, D.O., of Grand Rapids entered into a settlement with the United States in which he agreed to a court order to never prescribe controlled substances.  According to the terms of the consent decree entered by U.S. District Court Judge Jane M. Beckering, Dr. Sova is also ordered to pay $170,000 in civil penalties to resolve the United States’ allegations that he forged opioid prescriptions for his own use.  

          In its civil complaint, the United States alleges that Dr. Sova issued prescriptions for controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.  Specifically, the United States alleges that Dr. Sova issued prescriptions for the opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone purportedly written for one of his patients.  However, this patient never received these prescriptions, as Dr. Sova arranged for them to be filled and collected for his own personal use.

          “Responsibility to protect against diversion of controlled substances starts with the provider,” said U.S. Attorney Mark A. Totten.  “When a physician breaks the rules and diverts controlled substances for their own use, they cannot be entrusted to prescribe controlled substances to others and must face the legal consequences of their own misconduct.  My office will continue to work with DEA and state law enforcement to enforce compliance with controlled substance prescribing laws.”

          “Medical and dental professionals must not abuse the privilege of prescribing controlled substances,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene, Detroit Field Division.  “DEA will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to investigate allegations of unlawful prescribing.”

          This case was investigated by DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Hull represented the United States.

          The complaint and consent decree in this case can be found on the Court’s online docket under United States v. Sova, No. 1:22-cv-658 (W.D. Mich.).

          The claims resolved by the consent decree are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.

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Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Updated July 25, 2022