Former Flint Area Doctor Sentenced to Life on Narcotics Charges
FLINT, MICHIGAN - A Flint area doctor was sentenced to life in prison and over $150,000 in forfeiture of assets today on drug charges in federal court, United States Attorney Stephen J. Murphy announced.
Receiving the sentence was Mukunda Dev Mukherjee, M.D., 64, of Fenton, Michigan, a former Flint area physician whose office was located at 1020 Professional Drive, Suite A-5, Flint, Michigan. The sentenced was imposed by Senior United States District Judge Paul V. Gadola. Judge Gadola imposed the life sentence by ordering the statutory maximum for all of the counts of conviction, and that each of these had to be served consecutively. This consisted of 12 counts for which the statutory maximum was 20 years incarceration; 14 counts for which the statutory maximum was 5 years incarceration; and 18 counts for which the statutory maximum was 1 year incarceration. As part of the sentence, Dr. Mukherjee agreed to the forfeiture of approximately $169,340.15 in assets.
U.S. Attorney Murphy said, “The severity of today’s sentence should be an object lesson to any unethical medical professionals who would use their prescription-writing authority to put dangerous narcotics in the hands of addicts. This case was the result of a combined, focused, and persistent effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement.”
Dr. Mukherjee was found guilty in February 2006 of 44 counts of illegal distribution of Schedule II, III, and V Controlled Substances.
During the trial, the government presented proofs that Dr. Mukherjee issued Oxycontin, Morphine, Vicodin, and Phenergan with Codeine without physical examinations, while several patients were simultaneously in his office, and with post-dated prescriptions. Dr. Mukherjee charged $45 for one controlled substance prescription and $90 for a second, post-dated controlled substance prescription. The jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that Dr. Mukherjee issued the controlled substance prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the course of professional practice. The evidence also demonstrated that area pharmacies refused to fill the controlled substance prescriptions issued by Dr. Mukherjee. Records revealed that Dr. Mukherjee issued more 80 mg Oxycontin prescriptions than any other physician or hospital in the state of Michigan during the period of January 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004.
Dr. Mukherjee has been in custody continuously since the time of his arrest in June 2004.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark C. Jones and Rita E. Foley Following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET), the Flint Area Narcotics Group (FANG), and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department.