Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Tennessee Podiatrist Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Distributing Controlled Substances

A Tennessee podiatrist pleaded guilty today for his role in unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Don Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee, Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Louisville Division and Director David B. Rausch of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) made the announcement.

Timothy Abbott, D.P.M., 62, of Nashville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to seven counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances before Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. of the Middle District of Tennessee.  Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 31, 2020, before Chief Judge Crenshaw.

As part of his guilty plea, Abbott admitted that, on 44 occasions between April 2013 and February 2019, he knowingly distributed to four of his patients hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

The DEA and TBI investigated the case with the assistance of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.  Trial Attorneys William M. Grady and Alexandra Michael of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force.  Since its inception in October 2018, the ARPO Strike Force, which operates in 10 districts, has charged more than 70 defendants who are collectively responsible for distributing more than 40 million pills.  The Health Care Fraud Unit, in general, maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, and has charged nearly 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $15 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in this case should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website for more information.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 
20-235
Updated February 26, 2020