Effingham, Illinois, Doctor Sentenced for Illegal Dispensation of Controlled Substances
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Naeem Mahmood Kohli, 61, a medical doctor from Effingham, Illinois, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $10,500 in fines as well as $700 in special assessments, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release after incarceration. Kohli was also ordered to forfeit to the United States his office building located at 500 North Maple, as well as $34,419.72, as a result of his drug convictions.
United States Attorney Wigginton stated, "The evidence heard by the jury and judge in this case established that Dr. Kohli abandoned his role as a medical professional for a price. In a community, and a nation, where medical doctors are held up as the trusted gatekeepers, Kohli, for a price, sold the keys to the pharmacy to patients with drug addictions. My office will continue to seek out those willing to peddle their professional integrity for financial gain. The abuse of prescription drugs is at an epidemic level in our communities and those responsible for putting these drugs on the street will be found and prosecuted."
Kohli, who operated the Kohli Neurology and Sleep Center, located at 500 North Maple in Effingham, Illinois, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in March of 2014 and went to trial in United States District Court during January 2015. On January 27, 2015, after a 17-day jury trial, Kohli was found guilty on seven counts of illegally dispensing Schedule II Controlled Substances to patients who suffered from drug addiction. The Benton, Illinois, jury concluded that Kohli illegally dispensed Oxycodone and Hydromorphone, both highly addictive controlled substances, outside the usual course of the medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
The prosecution arose from a law enforcement investigation titled Operation Doctor Feelgood. The joint law enforcement investigation focused on "pill mills" where doctors provided prescription drugs to addicts for a fee.
The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the Illinois State Police, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Effingham Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Ranley R. Killian and Michael J. Quinley.