You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

West Virginia physician found guilty of illegally distributing drugs

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Dr. George P. Naum, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was found guilty today of illegally distributing controlled substances, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

After a six-day trial, a jury found Naum, guilty of one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,” and four counts of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice.” He was found not guilty of one count of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice.” Naum, age 60, conspired with others to illegally distribute controlled substances from a drug treatment center, Advance Healthcare, Inc., in Weirton, West Virginia from 2008 to 2016.

“Successful prosecutions like this one are complex, time consuming, and require great effort by talented prosecutors and law enforcement agents.  The vast majority of medical providers are honorable and law abiding professionals. However, our determination to bring drug dealing doctors and other medical providers who violate the criminal laws and simultaneously ignore their professional obligations to do no harm is unwavering,” said Powell. 

Naum faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. 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 investigated. 

These charges are the result of investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) under the Attorney General-led Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS)/Special Operations Division (SOD) Project Clean Sweep.  This initiative seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in “hot spot” areas previously identified by the Attorney General of the United States, thereby reducing drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths, and identify wholesale distribution networks and sources of supply operating nationally and internationally. 

Senior U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley presided.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Updated May 16, 2019