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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Former Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Dispensing Vicodin and Defrauding the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A former Pittsburgh radiologist has been sentenced in federal court to two years (24 months) in prison, three years’ supervised release, and order to pay a fine of $15,000 and restitution in the amount of $728 on his conviction of unlawfully distributing controlled substances and health care fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Omar A. Almusa, 46, of Pittsburgh, PA.

According to information presented to the court, Almusa, while he was employed as a radiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, conspired to create and submit unlawful prescriptions for Vicodin, and then unlawfully dispensed those controlled substances to other persons without a legitimate medical purpose. Almusa also committed health care fraud by submitting fraudulent claims to UPMC Health Plan for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed Vicodin.

Prosecuting medical professionals who illegally prescribe powerful painkillers without a legitimate medical purpose is another front in our fight against the opioid epidemic," U.S. Attorney Brady said. "We will continue to investigate and prosecute these corrupt doctors."

Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

The investigation leading to the filing of charges in these cases was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit (OFADU). The Western Pennsylvania OFADU, led by federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, combines the expertise and resources of federal and state law enforcement to address the role played by unethical medical professionals in the opioid epidemic. This unit has investigated and prosecuted more corrupt health care professionals than any other U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country.

The agencies which comprise the Western Pennsylvania OFADU include: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Bureau of Narcotic Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Office of Personnel Management – Office of Inspector General and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Health Care Fraud
Updated May 9, 2019