SoCal Doctor Agrees To Plead Guilty To Distributing Addictive Painkiller And Laundering Proceeds Of His Drug Trafficking
LOS ANGELES – In a plea agreement filed late this afternoon, a Los Angeles-area doctor has agreed to plead guilty to a federal drug trafficking charge for illegally distributing the powerful painkiller best known by the brand names Vicodin and Norco.
Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of La Mirada, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of distribution of hydrocodone and one count of money laundering.
While Sun has agreed to plead guilty to distributing hydrocodone, he admits in his plea agreement that he also illegally prescribed and distributed other drugs, including those best known by the brand names Xanax and Soma. Sun admits that he prescribed these drugs from the beginning on 2011 through June 2012 and that he did so “outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.”
Sun, who operated medical clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, was named in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury about three months ago. In his plea agreement, Sun acknowledges that he issued a dozen prescriptions to “patients” who were undercover law enforcement officers who made cash payments and who “did not have a legitimate medical need for the drugs.”
Sun admitted that, between January 2011 and May 2012, he received approximately $554,070 in cash payments from patients, which he deposited into a personal account “for the purpose of disguising the source and nature of the funds, and which (as defendant knew) represented the proceeds from defendant’s issuance of prescriptions for controlled substances.”
As part of his agreement to plead guilty to the two felony charges, Sun agreed to forfeit to the government the proceeds that he earned from his illegal medical practice, including approximately $342,000 seized from his accounts in July 2012.
Sun’s case is pending before United States District Judge Manuel Real, who has not yet scheduled a hearing for Sun to enter his guilty pleas.
The drug trafficking count carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, and the money laundering count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in custody.
Sun also agreed to pay $86,975 in restitution to the California Medical Board, which participated in the investigation into the doctor’s illegal activities. Sun also agreed to cooperate in any action taken by the Medical Board to revoke his medical license.
The investigation into Sun was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS - Criminal Investigation, the California Medical Board, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.
Release No. 14-076