In 2016, cardiologist Dominic W. Dileo, MD, 69, of Uniontown, PA along with his clinic director, Rosalind Sugarmann, 63, was indicted on 238 counts of conspiring to operate as a “pill mill”, including 213 counts unlawfully dispensing and distributing Suboxone, four counts of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute Xanax, as well as a single count of criminal conspiracy. The indictment alleges that Dileo “did knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully dispense and distribute and cause to be dispensed and distributed, as aided and abetted by Rosalind Sugarmann, a quantity of … Suboxone … outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.”
The clinic, Addiction Specialists Inc., founded in 1999, and owned by Mrs. Sugarmann, was raided in October, 2015, by the FBI, DEA, DHHS, OIG, the state Attorney General’s Office and the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office. Mrs. Sugarmann gives an account of that raid on her blog https://aheroinestory.com/blog/.
Now you might be asking yourself what is a cardiologist doing working as a doctor in a clinic treating addiction? Well, Dr. Dileo had been out of surgical practice for a few years, and it is typical for an older surgeon to look at pain management as a good substitute for surgery. He was out of practice because in the 1990’s he was targeted and charged with 13 criminal counts for over-prescribing Percocet and Percodan, Medicare fraud, and taking kickbacks. Demonstrating his innocence, he went to trial in 1994, was convicted anyway, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Released in 2003, his medical license was reinstated in 2005, about the time that Suboxone was being allowed for the treatment of addiction.
After first maintaining his innocence for this second go round, Dr. DiLeo finally caved and pleaded guilty in July, 2016 to two of the lesser charges of the 238–distributing Xanax and conspiracy to distribute Suboxone. He was not sentenced, however, until a year later, after his plea forced the plea of the business owner, Rosalind Sugarmann. I’m sure part of his agreement in his plea was to act as a witness against Ms. Sugarmann, which forced her into her plea. Both of them got 1 year and 1 day sentences, to give them “good days” to reduce their time to 85% of their sentence. They will both be released in July, 2018. But of course, the point of the government attack was money—confiscation of assets and reclaiming government-insured payments.
An interesting sidenote is that Dr. DiLeo was also the physician for Fayette County jail assessing and treating the inmates. It is also interesting that he was first attacked for prescribing pain meds, and is now being attacked for prescribing the medicines helping people with withdrawal from pain meds. Kind of a “you can’t win for losing” scenario.
Another interesting finding: The persecution of Dr. DiLeo was based on the prescribing of buprenorphine, the opioid stressed by the government for use by people with “opioid use disorder”, which is basically anyone on an opioid. This is government collusion with special interests such as Dr. Andrew Kolodny, founder of Phoenix House, a prominent addiction treatment center and proponent of the use of buprenorphine. As has been done historically with every semi-synthetic and synthetic opioid since heroin, buprenorphine is touted as “less addictive”. However, that is not the case. Buprenorphine can also be abused by people to get high. Although the goal with treatment is to stabilize the person’s life and then wean them off of buprenorphine, as more people with chronic pain are being forced into using Suboxone, it is being used continuously. Also since it can deter withdrawal, it is being sold on the street and picked up by people who can’t get their drug of choice or by genuine pain patients who have been cut off of their medications by the shutdown of their clinics. In a report released last year, the DEA ranked buprenorphine No. 8 in drugs identified by forensic labs. Marijuana ranked first, methadone 15th.
The government sees the dollar signs as well. They are passing laws to double the number of doctors permitted and trained to prescribe buprenorphine and to increase from 100 to 300 patients per doctor. So you could say that the government is padding the coffers with new targets in their “War Against Doctors” by saying “Come and treat the addicts” and then prosecuting those that do.
DOCTORS BEWARE! YOU COULD BE NEXT!