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Press Release

Delaware County Doctor Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Distributing Oxycodone to Patients in “Pill Mill” Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced that Timothy Shawl, M.D., 60, of Garnet Valley, PA entered a plea of guilty before United States District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick on five counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances.

The defendant was charged by Indictment in September 2019 as part of a coordinated healthcare fraud enforcement action across seven federal districts, involving more than $800 million in loss and more than 3.25 million opioid pills distributed in “pill mill” clinics. During his guilty plea today, Shawl admitted that he wrote oxycodone prescriptions that were not for a legitimate medical purpose, and which were in fact issued without Shawl treating, examining, or even seeing the patients who received the prescriptions. Shawl further admitted that, with regard to one patient, he had not conducted a physical examination on the patient for at least five years, despite regularly prescribing controlled substances to the patient. This patient died on Jan. 7, 2019, just three days after Shawl last prescribed oxycodone for her, and the cause of death was drug intoxication.

“Today’s guilty plea from Dr. Shawl is the tangible result of the Healthcare Fraud Strike Force delivering on its mission to stop fraud, waste, and abuse within our federal health care programs and to stem the tide of illegal opioid distribution,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “Our Strike Force acts as a force multiplier, bringing together health care fraud prosecutors, civil enforcement attorneys, data analysts, and law enforcement agencies to do this important work. Today’s guilty plea should serve as a warning to any medical professional engaged in this type of illegal behavior.”  

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from task force officers from the Philadelphia Police Department and Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. Trial Attorney Debra Jaroslawicz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.


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Updated January 21, 2020

Health Care Fraud