Suboxone Clinic Doctor Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Distributing Controlled Substances and Health Care Fraud
PITTSBURGH, PA. - A resident of Sewickley, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Michael Bummer, 39, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Bummer was a physician practicing at Redirections Treatment Advocates, a Suboxone clinic, located in Washington, PA. Bummer admitted that he and others conspired together to create and submit unlawful prescriptions for buprenorphine, known as Subutex and Suboxone, and then unlawfully dispensed those controlled substances to other persons. Bummer also admitted to committing health care fraud for causing fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicaid and Medicare for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed buprenorphine.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for January 9, 2019 at 11 a.m. The law provides for a total per count sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $500,000.00, or both, for the controlled substances offenses. Bummer faces an additional maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and fine of $250,000.00 for the health care fraud charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
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.