Doctor Found Guilty Of Drug Distribution And Causing The Death Of A Patient
.PHILADELPHIA – Following a three-month jury trial, Jeffrey Bado, formerly a physician with two practices in the Philadelphia area, was convicted today in federal court of 308 felony counts, including two counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises, one count of drug distribution resulting in death, 269 counts of drug distribution, 33 counts of health care fraud, and two counts of making false statements to federal agents, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Bado faces a twenty-year mandatory minimum sentence for the charge of drug distribution resulting in death, and up to twenty years in prison for each of the other drug distribution counts.
“We are tremendously gratified with the jury’s verdict in this important prosecution,” said United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. “This verdict represents the culmination of an outstanding effort from our prosecutors and law enforcement partners to hold accountable those individuals, particularly those in the medical profession, whose illegal conduct fuels the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is wreaking havoc on our society. We will continue to investigate and prosecute these dangerous drug dealers, whether they are doctors, pharmacists, or otherwise, as well work with the community to help reverse the trend of serious drug abuse.”
Bado maintained medical offices in Roxborough, in 2010 and 2011, and in Bryn Mawr, from 2011 to 2013. Evidence at trial showed that Bado had prescribed large amounts of oxycodone and methadone to clients of his practice outside the usual course of professional practice and without medical necessity. In one instance, Bado’s illegal drug distribution caused the death of a drug addicted patient. By the time Bado’s practice closed in 2013, Bado was charging new patients $800 cash per visit, returning patients $400 cash, and refusing to accept medical insurance. Bado’s patients received at most a cursory physical examination and little other medical care or treatment. However, they did receive what government expert Stephen Thomas, M.D., testified were prescriptions for staggering amounts of opioids.
Bado issued prescriptions tailored to the needs of drug addicts and dealers; he complied with patients’ requests for specific concentrations of oxycodone and, without medical justification, switched patients’ prescriptions to pill concentrations commanding a higher street value. Even when Bado knew patients were addicted to oxycodone, were using illegal drugs, or were not taking the oxycodone prescribed, he continued to provide prescriptions for large amounts of oxycodone. Multiple former patients testified to becoming addicted to oxycodone prescribed by him. There was no evidence at trial suggesting Bado had referred patients to opioid addiction treatment.
Bado was also convicted of health care fraud, having fraudulently billed Medicare and private insurers for patient visits that occurred when Bado was out of the country. Bado directed his staff to see patients, provide them with pre-signed prescriptions, and submit fraudulent insurance claims as if he had seen the patients himself. Bado was convicted of making false statements to federal agents concerning these billings.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maureen McCartney, Jason P. Bologna, Andrew J. Schell, and Nancy Beam Winter.