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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Two West Virginia physicians and a business partner indicted for illegally distributing drugs

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Two physicians operating offices in West Virginia, along with a business partner, were indicted by a grand jury today on charges of illegally distributing controlled substances, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Dr. Felix Brizuela, Jr., age 61, of Harrison City, Pennsylvania, was indicted on 21 counts of “Distribution of Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,”  one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,”  and 15 counts of “Illegal Remuneration in Violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute .” 

Dr. George P. Naum, age 58, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was indicted on one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,” and 10 counts of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Controlled Substances 
Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice.” 

Eric Drake, age 47, of Weirton, West Virginia, was indicted on one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,” 10 counts of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,” one count of “Distribution of a Controlled Substance,” and one count of “Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premises.” 

The three are accused of conspiring with one another to illegally distribute controlled substances from a drug treatment center, Advance Healthcare, Inc., in Weirton, West Virginia from 2008 to 2016.

Brizuela is also accused of distributing oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl and other controlled substances illegally in Monongalia County from 2013 to 2015, and accused of accepting financial kickbacks in exchange for directing urine samples for drug testing to a specific company.

Brizuela faces up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the distribution counts, up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy charge, and up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Naum faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. Drake faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the distribution and conspiracy charges, and up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $500,000 for the maintaining a drug premises charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Wagner and Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, WV Offices of the Insurance Commissioner Fraud Division, WV Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Office of Ohio Attorney General Health Care Fraud, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the Hancock-Brook-Weirton Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, the Greater Harrison County Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, West Virginia State Police, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, and the Weirton Police Department are investigating. 
 
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Health Care Fraud
Updated January 9, 2018