LA Doctor Convicted for Unlawful Prescribing Practices
MAR 16 -- (LOS ANGELES) – On March 15, 2010, a Los Angeles physician described as the single, most prolific provider of prescription drugs by investigators of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was convicted of more than a dozen felony counts.
Jurors deliberated two days before convicting Carlos Estiandan, 68, of 13 counts of unlawful controlled substance prescription. The charges stemmed from a three-year joint investigation involving an undercover Sheriff’s deputy who was able to get 12 prescriptions for substances without ever being properly examined. Estiandan came to the attention of the DEA via a California statewide system that tracks prescriptions issued by physicians. The offenses took place between August 2005 and August 2006.
“Prescription drug abuse remains a serious problem throughout our country,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “It is unfortunate that someone would abuse their position of trust and prescribe powerful and addictive drugs with no medical need."
An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) revealed that in January 2008, only Johns Hopkins University wrote more prescriptions than Estiandan in the entire United States.
“The conviction in this case illustrates a serious social problem where unethical, greedy medical practitioners aid and abet the self-inflicted harm of those addicted to prescription drugs,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said.
Estiandan faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison.
The District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Estiandan with assistance from the California Attorney General’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the California Medical Licensing Board.