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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 24, 2020

Norton Doctor Sentenced For Illegally Prescribing, Health Care Fraud

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced today that Dr. Raymond Michael Moore, who had a medical practice in Norton, Va., was sentenced today to 108 months in federal prison for a litany of federal crimes, including illegally prescribing more than 25,000 oxycodone pills, 17,000 hydrocodone pills, and 10,000 benzodiazepine pills without a legitimate medical purpose.

Moore, 62, of Wise, Va. pleaded guilty in December 2019 to fourteen federal charges, including illegally prescribing  pain pills, obtaining drugs by fraud, health care fraud, making a false statement to law enforcement; and failing to maintain required records.

According to evidence presented at the sentencing hearing and in court records, Moore issued prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of medical practice, totaling more than 50,000 dose units of those illegally prescribed controlled substances.  

During the execution of a search warrant at his medical practice, law enforcement discovered filled prescriptions for controlled substances that Moore had written to patients.  When questioned about the controlled substances, Moore initially told law enforcement that patients surrendered the prescriptions to him for destruction.  After additional controlled substances issued in patients’ names were recovered from his home, Moore later admitted that he took the prescriptions back from patients for his personal use.  Moore failed to maintain required records concerning the controlled substances found in his home and residence.

Pursuant to his plea agreement, Moore paid more than $50,000 in restitution to Virginia Medicaid and forfeited more than $100,000. In addition, Moore agreed to never again be a medical provider.  He permanently surrendered his medical license in October 2019.

“When the defendant chose greed and his own desire for controlled substances over caring for his patients’ needs he violated the public trust and fueled the cycle of addiction and despair,” First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar stated today. “Our office has no higher priority than investigating and prosecuting drug-dealing doctors and other corrupt health-care workers who violate the law and put our communities at risk.”

“Doctors who write prescriptions for dangerous controlled substances without due regard for patient health and safety directly contribute to the opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Herring.  “My office will aggressively prosecute those who violate their oaths to ‘first do no harm’ and endanger our communities by flooding them with these addictive substances.”

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, prosecuted the case for the United States.  The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad, Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Virginia State Police, Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, Buena Vista Police Department, and Martinsville Police Department.  Assistance with the search warrants was provided by the Norton Police Department, Big Stone Gap Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the Office of the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bristol Police Department, Wise Police Department, and the United States Department of Justice’s Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force.

Updated July 24, 2020