Dominican Republic Native Pleads Guilty to Smuggling $2 Million in Heroin Nearly 6 Years After His Flight from Justice
PITTSBURGH, PA - A prescribing physician with SKS Associates, an opioid treatment facility located in Johnstown, PA, guilty in federal court to charges of dispense and distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Dr. Michael Cash, 50, of Indiana, PA pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Cash conspired to create and submit unlawful prescriptions for buprenorphine, and then unlawfully dispensed those controlled substances to other persons. Cash also committed health care fraud by submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare, for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed buprenorphine.
Judge scheduled sentencing for January 17, 2019 at 2:15 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,500,000, 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.
Pending sentencing, the court continued Cash on bond
Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar and Michael L. Ivory are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which combines personnel and resources from the following agencies to combat the growing prescription opioid epidemic: 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, 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 and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.