Judge Sends Former Greensburg Doctor to Prison for Illegally Distributing Opioids
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Greensburg, PA, has been sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine after his conviction for violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Dr. Milad Shaker, 49, of who was found guilty of 14 counts of illegal dispensing opioids on October 18, 2019.
The evidence introduced during the six-day trial established that from October 2014 through March 2017, Shaker, a primary care physician, illegally dispensed Hydrocodone, Percocet 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."
In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Bissoon stated, "Dr. Shaker, you have abused your position as a doctor, a trusted healer, by feeding the addiction of a vulnerable woman for your personal gratification. Your actions, and your utter failure to appreciate your wrongdoing, particularly amid the opioid crisis in America, and, indeed, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, are troubling." Judge Bissoon continued, "I do hope at some point you come to realize how devastating your actions were to another individual and the sentence imposed today reinforces the gravity of your actions."
Judge Bissoon remanded Shaker to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons.
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 prosecution of 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.