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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Doctor Pleads Guilty to Illegal Distribution of Adderall, Oxycodone

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Fairfax medical doctor pleaded guilty today to illegally diverting Adderall and oxycodone to six different patients, including a patient who suffered from opioid addiction and later died of a drug overdose.

According to court documents, Dr. Gurpreet Singh Bajwa, 49, temporarily lost his medical license in 2012 following an investigation by the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP) into his prescription practices. After he license was reinstated, he significantly reduced the quantity of pain medications he prescribed, and switched over to stimulants, benzodiazepines, and sedatives.

Generally, at no point during any of his patients’ visits did Bajwa or any of his staff receive, review, or request prior medical files; obtain medical histories; conduct physical examinations; discuss the case of any attention disorder or what might properly address such a condition; discuss any alternatives to treatment; or obtain and analyze urine samples to ensure his patients were taking their medications as directed.

Beginning in summer 2018, two undercover law enforcement officers posed as patients and made appointments to see Bajwa. At each visit, Bajwa prescribed the undercover officers a 30-day supply of Adderall—despite the undercover officers showing up to two weeks prior to the end of the previous 30 day period. One of the officers told Bajwa that she was a fitness model and needed Adderall for her workouts, which is not a legitimate use for the substance. The undercover officer also asked Bajwa to prescribe her extra pills that she could give to a “friend” and he readily agreed.

One of the patients to whom Bajwa prescribed significant quantities of prescription drugs had a history of high blood pressure, among other health conditions. Nevertheless, Bajwa wrote her monthly prescriptions for the maximum dose of Adderall, a schedule II stimulant.

In 2016, the CDC and the FDA issued warnings cautioning against prescribing opioids and benzodiazepines (including Xanax) together because of the increased risk of fatal overdose. Nevertheless, on multiple occasions, Bajwa wrote prescriptions to patients for both oxycodone—a powerful Schedule II opioid—and Xanax.

One of Bajwa’s patients, N.J., suffered from heroin addiction. N.J.’s mother told Bajwa two or three times that N.J. was abusing drugs, and yet Bajwa continued to prescribe controlled substances to N.J. In November 2017, Bajwa prescribed both oxycodone and Xanax to N.J., despite knowing of N.J.’s drug addiction, and despite the increased danger of combining the two medications. In January 2018, N.J. was dismissed from a rehabilitation program after he was caught abusing drugs Bajwa prescribed him. N.J. died of a drug overdose a short time later.

Bajwa pleaded guilty to five counts of distribution of Adderall, and one count of distribution of oxycodone and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on May 22. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-060.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated March 4, 2020