Wausau Doctor Sentenced for Fraudulent Fentanyl Prescription Scheme
Madison, Wis. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Thomas Strick, 60, Wausau, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to three months in federal prison for obtaining fentanyl by use of misrepresentation and fraud.
During the timeframe of the government’s investigation, Strick was employed as a family practice physician at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and the Aspirus Wausau Family Clinic. The government’s investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2018, Strick prescribed fentanyl patches to at least six patients without a medical need. Strick instructed the patients to fill the prescriptions and return the fentanyl patches to him for personal use, telling the patients that he needed the fentanyl to relieve his pain. Investigators determined that Strick had written 193 fraudulent prescriptions for fentanyl patches and had acquired 3,156 patches as a result of the prescriptions.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Conley stated that Strick violated the public’s trust by using his position as a physician to feed his own drug addiction. Judge Conley noted that Strick had abused his professional responsibility by enlisting his patients to participate in prescription fraud. Judge Conley noted that Strick’s scheme exploited his patients by using their sense of obligation to him while he repeatedly breached their trust. Judge Conley also expressed deep concern that Strick had been previously convicted in Marathon County in 2004 for similar conduct.
As a result of his conviction in this case, Strick has been suspended from practicing medicine and surgery by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board.
The charges against Strick are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wausau Police Department. The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron D. Wegner.