Broward Chronic Pain Doctor and Office Staff Charged with Unlawfully Conspiring to Dispense Controlled Substances
Dr. Willem Ouw, 84, of Broward County, is charged in a ten-count indictment with conspiracy to dispense oxycodone, attempting to dispense oxycodone, morphine and amphetamine, and dispensing a controlled substance without authorization by law. Sarah Shoopman, 36, Orange County, and Donna Licata, 62, and Belafonte Byard, a/k/a “Quincy,” 50, of Broward County, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to dispense a controlled substance, oxycodone, without authorization by law. If convicted, each of the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment on each count.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division; and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), made the announcement.
According to allegations made in court and in the indictment, between December 16, 2015 and June 13, 2017, defendants Dr. Ouw, Shoopman, Licata and Byard conspired to dispense controlled substances without authorization by law. On nine separate dates, Dr. Ouw is alleged to have provided a prescription for controlled substances, including oxycodone, morphine and amphetamine without having conducted a proper medical examination. On one of the nine dates, Dr. Ouw allegedly dispensed oxycodone without authorization. Shoopman, Licata and Byard conspired with Dr. Ouw to unlawfully dispense the controlled substances by, among other things, taking cash payments, handling files and obtaining samples.
The indictment also includes allegations seeking criminal forfeiture of property derived from or used in furtherance of the charged offenses, including various real properties owned by Dr. Ouw valued in excess of $2.8 million.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of DEA, BSO and the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Tamen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eloisa Fernandez is handling forfeiture matters.
An indictment is a formal charging document containing allegations. All persons charged by indictment are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.