Bingham Farms Physician Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Illegally Distributing Over One Million Opioid Pills and Health Care Fraud
DETROIT, Mich. - A West Bloomfield physician pleaded guilty today to illegally distributing over 7,000 oxycodone pills, a Schedule II prescription drug-controlled substance, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.
Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division.
Scott Henry Cooper, 61, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Denise Page Hood.
According to court records, Cooper practiced as a primary care physician at a medical clinic, Comprehensive Medical Associates, located in West Bloomfield, MI, from 2013 through 2018. A portion of his practice involved patients who sought highly abused and valuable prescription drug-controlled substances such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, alprazolam (Xanax) and dextroamphetamine-amphetamine (Adderall). The defendant was required by his employer to see Medicaid (low income) patients. Cooper admitted that his controlled substance patients were problem patients, he did not want to see them, and in fact he often did not see them while continuing to prescribe controlled substances.
One such patient served time in prison from January 9, 2015 until December 7, 2017. For almost three years the defendant wrote monthly prescriptions for the patient without an examination or determination of medical necessity. The prescriptions were picked up at the front desk by a relative while the patient was in prison. The drugs prescribed by Cooper to the patient while the patient was in prison totaled over 7,000 dosage units. The count of conviction relates to a prescription written on October 16, 2017, without an examination or determination of medical necessity. The prescription was for 120 dosage units of oxycodone 15mg.
Under the terms of the guilty plea agreement, the judge must impose a sentence of at least 44 months in prison and may impose a sentence of up to 87 months of imprisonment. The exact sentence imposed will be determined at sentencing, which will take place on August 24, 2023, at 2 PM.
The defendant has not been able to prescribe any prescription drug-controlled substances since June of 2020, due to bond conditions imposed by the court.
“A doctor who supplies a patient with addictive and dangerous controlled substances without assessing the patient’s need for the drugs endangers the patient and the community,” stated U.S. Attorney Ison. “My office is committed to keeping highly addictive opioids off the street, and we will aggressively investigate and prosecute doctors who illegally distribute controlled substances.”
Special Agent in Charge Orville stated, ““Dr. Cooper’s actions were reckless and criminal. This type of negligence by medical personnel is what fuels addiction. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and hold accountable those who act illegally and put patients’ health and safety at risk.”
The case was investigated by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Wayne F. Pratt of the Health Care Fraud Unit.