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Press Release

Mobile Doctor Sentenced to Five Years Probation and Ordered to Pay Quarter Million Dollar Fine for Prescription Drug Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama, announces that Dr. Thomas Dempsey has been sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $250,000.00 fine following his plea of guilty to illegally distributing controlled substances via prescription.

Dr. Dempsey was one of the founding members of the Alabama Orthopedic Clinic in Mobile, Alabama.   In 2012, Dr. Dempsey left to start Orthopedic Quick Care in Mobile.  In September 2019, Dr. Dempsey pleaded guilty to an Information alleging illegal distribution of oxycodone and hydrocodone via prescription while working at Orthopedic Quick Care.

As part of his plea agreement, Dr. Dempsey admitted that he signed blank prescription papers prior to a June 2018 trip to Charleston, South Carolina.   During this trip, Dr. Dempsey’s staff used these pre-signed prescription papers to create thirty-seven prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, which were distributed to patients while Dr. Dempsey was out of the office.  His employees — none of whom had the requisite DEA license to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances like oxycodone and hydrocodone — were acting at Dr. Dempsey’s express direction.

During the sentencing hearing, United States District Judge Jeffrey Beaverstock emphasized that pre-signing blank prescription papers is a very serious offense that can easily lead to diversion of controlled substances.  Noting Dr. Dempsey’s age, lack of criminal history, and the fact that he had already lost his DEA license and was no longer practicing medicine, Judge Beaverstock opted for the maximum probation sentence of five years instead of incarceration.  Judge Beaverstock also ordered Dr. Dempsey to pay a fine of $250,000.00, which is the maximum fine allowed under the statute of conviction.

This matter was investigated by Special Agents, Task Force Officers, and Diversion Investigators with DEA–Mobile.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Bodnar and Deborah Griffin.

Updated March 11, 2020