Richard Andrews, DO, 65, of Dallas, was co-owner and supervising physician of McAllen Medical Clinic in Dallas. He is now in a prison cell for the next 8 years for doing his job. Arrested in January, 2016, he finally pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. This was after most of the other real criminals pleaded, and would have probably committed perjury against the doctor as part of their agreement.
To spread their propaganda and pave the way for more doctors to be charged, the government, in their press release, stated that Dr. Andrews knew there was “not a legitimate medical purpose” and that he was prescribing “outside the usual course of professional practice”.
But in his plea, Dr. Andrews stated that he did not know what was going on.
The government admits that patients were fraudulently presented to the doctor as legitimate patients. In their press release they say “individuals who were homeless, or of limited means, were recruited to pose as patients. Drivers or script ringleaders would coach recruits on what to say inside the clinic to obtain the specified prescription.” This statement shows that the doctor had no clue what was going on, and was treating the patient as any doctor should—with trust in his presenting complaint. When a doctor stops believing the history a patient gives because of fear of reprisal, he needs to stop being a doctor. And we shouldn’t be putting doctors in this situation anyway.
In their press release, the government continued to spread propaganda against doctors making insinuations that the doctor was in on the scheme, saying “The clinics provided the oxycodone prescriptions by hiring medical practitioners willing to write them even though the clinic owners, managers, and practitioners knew they were not issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice.” The truth was that the doctor was simply doing his job legally and correctly.
The government statement “To avoid detection by law enforcement, clinic owners and managers concealed the illicitly issued nature of the prescriptions, the quantities of controlled substances obtained and distributed and the amount of the drug proceeds” was a complete fabrication. Concealing amounts prescribed and the charges for the visit is impossible.
So what does this case show? Innocent doctors doing their job are being held responsible for the actions of criminals committing fraud to get prescriptions. Reason? MONEY!! There is no mention in any of the real criminals’ cases that moneys or possessions were confiscated. But the doctors and pharmacists had forfeitures and outlandish fines. They made no money on their work over and above what is legitimately charged for service. But the government claimed what they wanted.
Here is a chart of the people indicted in this crime whose sentences were reported. Even the 2 year sentences for the pharmacists are too much. And yet the people actually committing the crime, knowing what they were doing, get lesser sentences than those who didn’t. The average sentence of the 4 professionals was 63.75 months, or over 5 years. The average sentence of the REAL criminals, except for the three highest players, was only 33 months, or not even 3 years. What’s wrong with this picture?
|Doctor||Richard Andrews||96 months|
|Pharmacist||Kumi Frimpong||24 months|
|Pharmacist||Ndufola Kigham||27 months|
|Clinic owner||Muhammad Faridi||108 months|
|Ringleader||Cornelius Robinson||120 months|
|Pill distributor||Shane Barron||37 months|
|Pill distributor||Tonya Sue Griggs||37 months|
|Pill distributor||Taneisha Nickerson||24 months|
|Patient runner||Adrian Banks||20 months|
|Pill distributor||Lee Robertson||84 months|
|Pill distributor||Tasmin Stewart||27 months|
|Pill distributor||Carolina Giselle Berrio||78 months|
|Patient recruiter||William Hopkins||5 years probation/52 weeks weekend incarceration|
|Pill distributor||Glenda Cane||18 months|
|Pill distributor||Shalisa Robinson||18 months|
|Angela Moore Booth||41 months|
|Earl Cain||48 months|
|Lashavia Denson||30 months|
|Pill distributor||Jason Edgecombe||3 months|
|Bertha Garcia||Bertha Garcia||37 months|
|Ivery Myers||37 months|
|Muhammad Taylor||30 months|
|Pill distributor||Cy Viator||140 months|
Some of the actual criminals received “time served”. Those that are not listed on the US Attorneys website as to sentence are Sina Athari, Darlene Fortenberry, Tony Sue Griggs, Candis O’Shaea Lewis, Patrick Moore, Markii Josett Shular, and Tasmin Jamal Stewart. They are possibly running more pills while innocent doctors, pharmacists, and owners sit in prison.
The owner of the clinic, Muhammad Faridi, was also indicted and forced to plead guilty, although he also had no idea what was happening. His plea was for one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. For that plea, he will be spending 9 years in prison. Hopefully we will get him released a lot sooner.