Montgomery County Doctor Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison for Unlawfully Distributing OxyCodone
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced that Richard Ira Mintz, D.O., 69, of Dresher, Pennsylvania was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, and $100,000 fine by United States District Court Judge Michael Baylson for illegally distributing controlled substances.
The defendant pleaded guilty in March 2019 to eight counts of distributing controlled substances (oxycodone) outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Mintz has surrendered his medical license and DEA Certificate of Registration. From approximately July 2016 through July 2018, Mintz worked at a medical practice in Philadelphia where he sold fraudulent and medically unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions. He wrote the prescriptions in the names of three individuals whom he had never met or examined.
“As our District is struggling under the weight of the opioid epidemic, this doctor used his prescription pad to harm rather than heal,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “He saw an opportunity to make money off of those struggling with addiction and took advantage of the situation out of sheer greed. Physicians who abuse their positions of trust within the community for financial gain will be held accountable by my Office.”
“Dr. Mintz pleaded guilty to federal drug distribution charges for selling prescriptions for powerful and addictive prescription painkillers such as oxycodone without any legitimate medical purpose and for profit,” said Jonathan A. Wilson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Philadelphia Field Division. “Medical doctors, like all DEA registrants that are entrusted with handling controlled substances, need to do so in accordance with good faith medical practice and for legitimate medical purposes.”
This case originated as part of a regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force that operates in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey. The Strike Force is a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 federal districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General (HHS – OIG), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Marshals’ Service, the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General and the Philadelphia Police Department. Trial Attorney Adam G. Yoffie of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Macko of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania handled the parallel civil case, in which defendant Mintz paid a $107,584 monetary penalty.