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Press Release

Pain Clinic Doctor Sentenced To Prison For Unlawful Drug Distribution, Money Laundering, And Filing A False Tax Return

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell today sentenced Qing McGaha to seven years and eight months in federal prison for unlawful drug distribution, money laundering, and filing a false tax return. The court also ordered McGaha to forfeit an office condominium, which is traceable to proceeds of the offense, pay $100,000 in criminal fines, and $119,462.34 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. As part of her sentence, McGaha also forfeited $774,216.12 in cash seized from her residence and $170,512.34 seized from her two bank accounts, which were proceeds of her criminal conduct. A federal jury had found McGaha guilty on June 16, 2023.

According to court documents, McGaha was a Florida-licensed medical doctor who owned and operated MD Care Clinic, a pain management clinic in Hillsborough County. Over a 20-month period, undercover agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted numerous appointments with McGaha. At each appointment, they received hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or oxycodone, Schedule II controlled substances, not for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice. Between January 2016 and January 2021, McGaha distributed more than 2.1 million opioid pills.

In addition, McGaha engaged in multiple monetary transactions over $10,000 in funds criminally derived from the operation of her clinic. She used these funds to purchase a piece of real property located in Clearwater and deposited the, into her bank account. In 2021, McGaha filed false and fraudulent tax forms for tax year 2020 that underreported MD Care’s gross revenue by nearly $300,000.

“Medical professionals who put personal profit over the safety and health of their patients by prescribing controlled substances without legitimate medical need violate both their oath to ‘do no harm’ as well as the Controlled Substances Act, ” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “This sentence is a testament to the DEA Miami Field Division’s commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to pursue those medical professionals who violate the public’s trust and put our communities at risk.”

“Dr. McGaha greedily ignored her oath to put her patients first - she thought she could get away with using her pill mill to doctor scripts that put harmful drugs on the streets,” said Brian Payne, special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation, Tampa Field Office. “To make matters worse, she then tried to evade her tax obligations by failing to report the fruits of her crimes to the IRS. The fall of another tax evading pill mill is a victory for all law enforcement involved.”

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration—Tampa District Office, the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the Lakeland Police Department, the Tampa Police Department, the Largo Police Department, and by the Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office, which focuses on opioid-related fraud and abuse by medical and health care professionals who have contributed to the prescription opioid epidemic. This case was also part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Pizzo and Suzanne Nebesky.

Updated October 11, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Financial Fraud