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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 20, 2019

Norton Doctor Pleads Guilty to Illegally Prescribing Prescription Drugs

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that Dr. Raymond Michael Moore, 61, of Wise, Va., who had a medical practice in Norton, Va., pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Abingdon, to fourteen federal charges, including illegally prescribing more than 25,000 oxycodone pills, more than 17,000 hydrocodone pills, and more than 10,000 benzodiazepine pills; obtaining drugs by fraud; health care fraud; making a false statement to law enforcement; and failing to maintain required records.

“The public places great trust in physicians to act as gatekeepers to the powerful prescription drugs that have come to plague our communities,” First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said today. “When they choose greed over their important obligation to help heal people, we will aggressively prosecute these doctors and seek to remove their ability to contribute to the opioid epidemic.”

According to evidence, Moore issued prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of medical practice.  In addition, Moore originally told law enforcement that controlled substances found during execution of search warrants were returned from patients and were to be destroyed.  He later admitted those controlled substances were for his personal use.

Pursuant to his plea agreement, Moore will pay more than $50,000 in restitution to Virginia Medicaid, will forfeit more than $100,000, and agreed to never again be a medical provider.

Sentencing was scheduled for March 26, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., before United States District Judge James P. Jones.  At sentencing Moore faces a maximum sentence of imprisonment for a term of 80 years and a maximum fine of $4.25 million.

Special Assistant United States Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen, a Virginia Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Attorney General’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section, is prosecuting the case for the United States.  The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad, the Virginia State Police, and the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force.  Assistance with the search warrants was provided by the Norton Police Department, Big Stone Gap Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Bristol Police Department, Wise Police Department, Martinsville Police Department, Buena Vista Police Department, Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the United States Department of Justice’s Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force.

Updated December 20, 2019