NEW ORLEANS, La (BRPROUD)- A Louisiana physician has been indicted for his role in distributing over one million doses of Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone, morphine, and for using his professional practice for the purpose of illegal distribution.
Adrian Dexter Talbot, M.D., 55, is also charged with defrauding health care benefit programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana of more than $5 million because the opioid prescriptions were filled using health insurance benefits.
Talbot owned and operated a medical clinic in Slidell that accepted cash payments from individuals seeking prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances. In 2015, Talbot took a full-time job in Pineville, Louisiana, and although he was no longer physically present at the Slidell clinic, he pre-signed prescriptions to be distributed to individuals there without seeing or examining those individuals. In 2016, Talbot hired another practitioner who also pre-signed prescriptions to be distributed in the same manner at the Slidell clinic.
With Talbot’s knowledge, individuals were filling their prescriptions that were issued outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose using their insurance benefits, thereby causing health care benefit programs to be fraudulently billed for filling prescriptions that were written without an appropriate patient examination or determination of medical necessity for the prescription.
Talbot is charged with one count each of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances, maintaining a drug-involved premises and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, as well as four counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 20 years each for all other counts. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI, HHS-OIG, VA-OIG, and the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit are investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Sara E. Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Howard Sinkman of the Eastern District of Louisiana are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.