Grayson County Physician Guilty of Federal Drug Charges
SHERMAN, Texas – A 57-year-old Sherman, Texas doctor has pleaded guilty to federal drug distribution and fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Howard Gregg Diamond pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud and aiding and abetting today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak.
According to information presented in court, beginning in 2010, Diamond wrote prescriptions for substances such as hydrocodone, oxymorphine, methadone, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, and zolpidem, without a legitimate medical purpose. Specifically, on July 15, 2014, Diamond distributed or dispensed morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam and zolpidem to an individual that resulted in that individual’s death on July 25, 2014. Additionally, Diamond had a claim for reimbursement for services submitted to Medicare claiming he treated a Medicare patient on Sep. 29, 2015, although he was in another state at that time. Diamond was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 6, 2017.
"Physicians like Dr. Diamond have been fueling the opioid crisis in this country," said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. "The number of pills that he was putting out on the street was shocking. And in this case, death was linked to those pills. Undoubtedly, others' addictions were worsened, and families suffered as a result. To reduce the impact of opioids, doctors have to take their obligations seriously, and if they don't, there will be more prosecutions like this."
This case is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) as a joint investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, weapons trafficking offenders, money laundering organizations, and those individuals responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
At the plea hearing, Diamond agreed to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison, waived his right to appeal and forfeited his DEA registration number. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Sherman Police Department, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Office of the Attorney General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Rattan and Maureen Smith.