42 y/o Oscar J. Stokes, MD, a pain management physician in Roswell, GA is another highly credentialed minority (Black) government target. Dr. Stokes first did a general surgery residency, then an anesthesiology residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and pain management fellowship at Stanford University. Page Pate, his attorney, stated “I’ve worked a number of these cases and I’ve never seen a physician so well trained.”
His wife Tashawna, also black, is a pediatrician in Kennesaw, GA which is 40 minutes away, and yet she’s also been charged with being involved at his clinic. That is so the government can forfeit all of their combined assets regardless of the fact that Tashawna’s income was not from pain management. They had a bright future until the DOJ decided to make them the poster children for ridiculous pain management charges. To prevent confusion, I will refer to the doctors by first name.
Jim Crow is alive and well in the US. Black doctors and other minorities are the most frequent targets of the DOJ. Why would any prestigious doctor such as the Drs. Stokes jeopardize their livelihood becoming “drug pushers”? They wouldn’t. By breaking the barriers and becoming doctors they had already shown they were “at the top of their class”. They are simply victims of a racist authority run amuck.
Oscar’s clinic was raided by in 2014 and he was indicted in 2015. He is still waiting for his “day in court”. Since a major reason for attacking doctors is job security, the US Attorneys aren’t in any hurry to go to court. They actually have a lineup so that they are always ensured of a money-making target. But the wait is excruciating for the innocent doctors whose lives suddenly come to an end–and they wait. Let it be noted that in the court appearances, the AUSA involved, Cassandra J. Schansman, was continually granted a leave of absence during which time she was prosecuting other medical professionals. This is not right in a country which ensures a “speedy trial”.
Let’s look at the illegal activity/inflammatory claims of the DOJ
The usual “open any doctor’s door” excuses were given for the raid. These charges are actually unwarranted and a violation of every doctor’s 4th amendment rights. They are the usual lies put forth to the grand jury by government agents committing perjury:
- Distributing oxycodone without giving proper exams.
- Charging for the office visit. When you learn the truth about this one, you will wonder how the government can be such liars and yet win in court. That has to change, and it is up to us, the people, to recognize that what they are doing to doctors in this country is criminal. Oh, but I forgetâ€”the US Attorneys are immune from prosecution. They can destroy innocent lives and walk away scot free. In fact, they get paid 6 figure bonuses.
The government claimed that Dr. Stokes netted $1 million per month charging $500 for a visit. They fail to mention that Dr. Stokes had his own urinalysis lab for urine drug screens in his office. When a patient goes to a pain management office that sends its urinalyses to outside labs, the office visit can legitimately run $300. Then the labs charge up to $1000 for the urinalysis. So Dr. Stokes’ charge is really cost-saving to the patient as well as to the government. Also, payment for a visit is determined by insurance companies, so his charges really don’t matter, except for self-pay patients.
The government also tries to make Dr. Stokes look bad by stating that he saw patients from other states. Some of those patients could have come from my office. When my office was closed by the government in 2010, my patients could not find a pain management practice. Some told me they were having to travel to Georgia. These were legitimate patients with legitimate pain being forced to travel out of state by the illegal attacks of the government!!
The media even tried to place blame on the doctor telling a story about a patient who died. The wife would go with the patient to the office and sit in the car while he went in. But when found dead, suddenly it’s the doctor’s fault? Lady, if your husband was abusing pain meds and you sat back and did nothing, don’t blame the doctor–blame yourself.
Let’s look at the actual indictment:
From March 2013 to Aug 2014
OSCAR JAMESON STOKES, M.D., did knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense, outside the usual course of professional medical practice and for no legitimate medical purpose, substances including, but not limited to: Oxycodone, Hydromorphone and Oxymorphone in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C) and (b)(2).
Purposes, Ways, Manner and Means of the Conspiracy
The purposes of the conspiracy included, but were not limited to, the following: To prescribe as many Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, and Oxymorphone pills, among other drugs, as possible, irrespective of legitimate medical purpose for prescribing them, to generate profits.
It was part of the conspiracy that he would prescribe Schedule II controlled substances at a patient’s first appointment without conducting a thorough medical examination, which did not result in a legitimate diagnosis justifying the prescriptions of the controlled substances. Further, STOKES, prescribed these drugs in inappropriate amounts and dosage combinations that exceeded that required for legitimate medical treatment. At follow-up visits, STOKES, wrote additional prescriptions with no further medical evaluation whatsoever.
The defendant, OSCAR JAMESON STOKES, M.D., continued prescribing controlled substances even after learning that patients were diverting their prescriptions, ignoring obvious indications of misuse. The Clinic serviced an inordinate amount of people on a daily basis, most having traveled from out-of-state. STOKES typically saw patients that paid in cash every three weeks, while he saw patients that used insurance every four weeks.
Counts 3-10: Patient CF prescriptions for Roxicodone
Counts 11-14: Patient J.R. prescriptions for MS Contin and Dilaudid
Count 15 Patient S.M. Oxycodone 15mg
Count 16 Patient BB Opana ER 20 mg and Dilaudid 8 mg
And the point of these attacks, folks? Here it is in black and white:
- Upon conviction of any of the controlled substance offenses alleged in Counts One through Sixteen of this Indictment, the defendant, OSCAR JAMESON STOKES, M.D., shall forfeit to the United States, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(a), all property constituting, or derived from, proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the said violations and all property used or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of the said violations, including, but not limited to, the following:
- MONEY JUDGMENT: A sum of money in United States currency equal to the amount of proceeds the defendants obtained as a result of the offenses for which the defendant is convicted. If more than one defendant is convicted of an offense, the defendants so convicted are jointly and severally liable for the amount involved in such offense. (Why Dr. Stokes’ wife got false charges brought against her as well.)
- REAL PROPERTY: their home and other pieces of property they own.
Dr. Oscar Stokes entered a not guilty plea. His attorney said he wasn’t aware of anything illegal going on at the clinic and that patients were prescribed medication within the parameters of the law. In an advertisement for his legal help, Mr. Pate, wrote the following:
“Dr. Oscar J. Stokes is a well-trained and respected physician who has been practicing pain medicine for over ten years. Dr. Stokes is board-certified from the American Board of Anesthesiology in both anesthesiology and pain management. Dr. Stokes previously served on the faculty of the University of California at Irvine Medical School. He is one of the most qualified pain specialists in the state.
“It is unfortunate that the federal government has decided to go after legitimate pain physicians simply because the physician ran a successful and busy medical clinic. While it is certainly true that some of the patients, including undercover law enforcement officers, may have lied to the doctor to obtain medication that they did not need, our client was not running his clinic just to sell pain medication. He also utilized a number of other treatments to try to help his patients deal with their chronic pain.”
In fact, ratings on the internet prove that point, and completely absolve the charges of failure to give a physical exam. Dr. Stoke’s ratings across the board for ease of appointment, promptness, courteous staff, accurate diagnosis, bedside manner, spends time with me, and follows up after visit were all 5/5 until his raid hit the news. Then there was one negative review.
Positive Comments about him included:
- Very friendly, spent time with me, explained what things meant to me, highly recommend to everyone.
- Great personality, very informative, takes time to explain, listens well, thorough, and caring. Dr. Stokes is a great doctor and has a heart for those that suffer like I do. He has really taken excellent care and I thank him for it.
- I am a patient of Dr. Stokes and also took my father to see him for back injections. He took time with us and made sure we understood everything about the pain and how he could help treat it. He is an excellent doctor.
- I highly recommend Dr. Stokes. He is a great pain doctor. He takes time to listen and really explains what is going on. We came up with a plan that really works well. Dr. Stokes is one of the best doctors I’ve ever had to take care of me.