JUL 01 (LAS VEGAS) – A Las Vegas physician pleaded guilty today to federal drug conspiracy charges for writing prescriptions for oxycodone for persons he did not see or treat, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Victor Bruce M.D., 49, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9, 2014. Bruce faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
“We will continue to identify and prosecute these bad doctors who are using their medical licenses to illegally deal drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We will also recommend the imposition of lengthy sentences of imprisonment because these doctors are using their medical licenses and special skills to commit these drug crimes, fully knowing the harmful impact and effects of these addictive painkillers. This was simply a money making sham, and none of the prescriptions were being issued for a legitimate medical purpose or in the usual course of professional practice.”
According to the guilty plea agreement, Bruce, a Nevada-licensed physician, operates a medical practice known as Swan Lake Medical Center at 3330 South Hualapai Way in Las Vegas. Bruce represents himself to be a pain management specialist and is the only physician working at the practice. Beginning at a date unknown and continuing to around November 2013, Bruce and several co-conspirators, including Robert Wolfe, aka “old man,” Millicent Epino, Dylan DuBois, Jennifer Monge, and Jade Lepoma, conspired to distribute oxycodone. Wolfe would provide Bruce a list of names, and Bruce would write prescriptions for oxycodone for those names and give them to Wolfe.
Bruce also created “dummy” medical records for those persons, to make it appear as if a legitimate patient encounter had taken place. On four occasions in June 2013, an undercover law enforcement officer purchased Bruce-written oxycodone prescriptions from Wolfe for $700 each. On each occasion, the undercover provided Wolfe or another co-conspirator with copies of Nevada driver’s licenses bearing the names of customers. Usually within a day, Wolfe or another co-conspirator would then provide the undercover with written prescriptions for oxycodone. Bruce knew he was writing prescriptions for controlled substances to customers he did not treat and who did not need the prescriptions. None of the prescriptions were issued for a legitimate medical purpose or in the usual course of profession practice.
Wolfe and several of the other co-conspirators are also charged in the drug conspiracy. Their cases are currently pending.
This case was investigated by the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (Nevada HIDTA) Pharm-Net Task Force, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department, and the Nevada Division of Investigations, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Crane M. Pomerantz and Cristina D. Silva.