CINCINNATI – Dr. Saad Sakkal, 72, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 240 months in prison for illegally distributing and dispensing controlled substances to multiple patients, including drugs that led to the death of one victim in 2016. Sakkal was practicing at Lindenwald Medical Association, Inc. in Hamilton.
At the conclusion of a trial in April 2019, a jury convicted Sakkal of 30 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of a medical practice and with no legitimate medical purpose, and six counts of use of a registration number that was issued to someone else.
During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence gathered by investigators that Sakkal performed inadequate physical exams to identify and verify patient’s complaints of pain, and that he issued prescription combinations that were particularly dangerous and addictive. Pharmacists testified that they warned Sakkal of the risks and eventually refused to fill prescriptions issued by Sakkal. Investigators also testified that Sakkal received repeated notice of addiction, overdoses and deaths, but continued his practices.
“Sakkal issued deadly drug cocktails without regard for the repeated warnings he received from employees, patients, pharmacists, another doctor, and the electronic records system,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers. “This doctor dealer even ignored overdoses by his patients. Instead of helping his patients, he caused more harm, and as a result, he earned spending the next few decades in federal prison.”
A federal grand jury indicted Sakkal in June, 2018. Agents arrested him in Florida after he was indicted. He has been held without bond since his arrest.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Anthony Groeber, Executive Director, State Medical Board of Ohio; Steven Schierholt, Executive Director, State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy; Stephanie B. McCloud, Administrator, Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation; announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett. Assistant Deputy Criminal Chief Timothy S. Mangan and Assistant United States attorney Timothy D. Oakley represented the United States in this case.
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