Physician Pleads Guilty To Illegally Prescribing Pain Medication
TYLER, Texas – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced that an East Texas pain management physician has pleaded guilty to illegally dispensing controlled substances.
Sameer Andoni Fino, 49, of Murphy, Texas, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge John D. Love for dispensing controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
According to information presented in court, Fino, as the owner of the Fino Pain Clinic, provided pain management services to patients in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and East Texas. On September 24, 2014, in Longview, Texas, Fino evaluated an undercover law enforcement agent who was posing as a new patient. During that visit, Fino did not perform any physical examination of the agent. After meeting with the agent for approximately six minutes, Fino wrote the undercover agent a prescription for 60 units of Norco ® 10 mg, which is an opioid pain medication containing hydrocodone. Fino knowingly and intentionally dispensed this controlled substance outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
In connection with his guilty plea, Fino has agreed to voluntarily surrender his DEA Certificate of Registration, thereby surrendering his privileges to prescribe controlled substances in the future.
In a related civil action, Fino has agreed to forfeit $3,936,704.41. The funds were originally seized during the execution of federal seizure warrants. At sentencing, Sameer Andoni Fino faces up to ten years in federal prison. No sentencing date has been set.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU). Special Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth C. McGurk is prosecuting this case.