Metairie Doctor Pleads Guilty to Operating a Pill Mill, Threatening Federal Law Enforcement and Health Care Fraud
Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that SHANNON CHRISTOPHER CEASAR, M.D., age 44, a physician and former co-owner and operator of Gulf South Physician’s Group in Metairie, pled guilty today to Counts 1, 2 and 3 of a Superseding Bill of Information.
According to court documents, CEASAR pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, quantities of Oxycodone, a Schedule II drug controlled substance. CEASAR ran what was, in essence, a “pill mill,” i.e., an operation in which he prescribed controlled substances to drug seekers and drug abusers without a legitimate medical purpose and in exchange for a flat fee.
CEASAR also pled guilty to threatening to assault or murder federal law enforcement officers with the intent to impede, intimidate or interfere with such officers while they were engaged in the performance of their official duties, or with the intent to retaliate. On or about July 20, 2016, at a time when CEASAR suspected he was under investigation, he made repeated threats to kill federal law enforcement officers, in particular officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration
Lastly, CEASAR pled guilty to committing and attempting to commit health care fraud. In total, because of CEASAR’s knowing and fraudulent issuance of prescriptions for Schedule II, III, and IV narcotics that he knew were medically unnecessary, health care benefit programs lost approximately $150,000.
The maximum penalty CEASAR faces on the drug conspiracy charge is not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. On the threat and health care fraud charges, CEASAR faces a maximum of not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and at least 3 years supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled before Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on July 26, 2017.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services OIG, and Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Shirin Hakimzadeh, Jordan Ginsberg, and Myles Ranier are in charge of the prosecution.