Suspended Las Vegas Doctor Pleads Guilty to Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A suspended Las Vegas doctor who was prescribing and obtaining controlled substances at local pharmacies in the name of a deceased patient, pleaded guilty today to the federal felony offense of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
Kent Swaine, 50, of Las Vegas, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware, and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2015. Swaine faces a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We are acutely aware that this is a problem which cannot be addressed through law enforcement action alone, and have been working with community partners in three other major areas to prevent and reduce prescription drug abuse, education, monitoring, and medication disposal.”
According to the court records, Swaine was originally licensed to practice medicine in Nevada in July 2001, and operated a medical practice at 5380 S. Rainbow Boulevard in Las Vegas. In January 2014, the Las Vegas DEA initiated an investigation into Swaine following a complaint that Swaine was writing prescriptions and obtaining controlled substances at several Las Vegas pharmacies in the name of a deceased patient. The investigation determined that Dr. Swaine was impersonating a deceased individual in order to obtain controlled substances. Swaine was arrested and charged by federal criminal complaint in August. At the guilty plea today, Swaine admitted that he had been fraudulently writing and filling prescriptions for Hydromorphone (generic Dilaudid), in the name of a patient who died in August 2011, for the purpose of his own drug addiction.
According to the State Medical Board’s website, Swaine’s license to practice is currently suspended indefinitely.
Next Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 17 to Dec. 18, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is co-sponsoring with the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (Nevada HIDTA) an annual training summit in Las Vegas to address prescription drug abuse. In addition to law enforcement, medical, treatment and pharmacy providers, as well as community and family service agency representatives are welcome to attend. For more information and to register go to: http://www.nvhidta.org/default.aspx?menuitemid=694.
The case was investigated by the HIDTA Pharm-Net Task Force, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane M. Pomerantz.