Greensburg Doctor Convicted at Trial of Illegally Dispensing Opioid Prescriptions
PITTSBURGH – After deliberating for eight hours, a federal jury late yesterday found Dr. Milad Shaker guilty of 14 counts of illegal dispensing of opioids, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Shaker, 50, of Greensburg, PA, was tried before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
U.S. Attorney Brady stated, "The conviction of Milad Shaker reflects this office’s commitment to prosecuting unethical physicians who are responsible for the opioid crisis through their illegal prescribing of Scheduled substances. Shaker’s own statements at trial demonstrate his callous and complete disregard for the health of his patient and the potential damage of his actions."
The evidence introduced during the six-day trial established that from October 2014 through March 2017, Shaker, a primary care physician, illegally dispensed Hydrocodone, Percoset and Tramadol to a patient in return for sex and sexually explicit photos and texts. According to testimony at trial, Shaker would meet the patient at various hotels in Westmoreland and Fayette counties and at two locations on the side of the road to engage in sex in return for opioid prescriptions. Shaker also exchanged prescriptions for texts containing sexually explicit images of the patient. During cross examination, Shaker, in defending his illegal prescribing, testified that, "opioids are like candy," and "10 to 20 opioid pills will not hurt you."
As part of his release pending sentencing, the Court ordered that Shaker cease practicing medicine.
Judge Bissoon set sentencing for February 20, 2020. The law provides for a maximum sentence of 140 years in prison, a fine of $3,500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorneys Robert S. Cessar and Mark V. Gurzo prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Brady commended the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit (OFADU) for conducting the investigation leading to the charges against Shaker. 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.
The agencies comprising 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.