Drug Enforcement Administration

Los Angeles

David Downing, Special Agent in Charge

October 26, 2015

Contact: SA Timothy Massino

Phone Number: (213) 621-6700

Henderson Doctor Pleads Guilty To Unlawful Distribution Of Controlled Substances

LAS VEGAS - Mahesh Kuthuru, M.D., 47, of Henderson, Nev. pleaded guilty today to unlawfully writing prescriptions for oxycodone and other highly addictive prescription painkillers, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.

Kuthuru, who was indicted in October 2014, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a controlled substance, and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey, on December 21, 2015, at 11:00 a.m.  Kuthuru faces not more than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. 

According to the plea agreement, Kuthuru is a Nevada-licensed physician who operated a medical practice known as Desert Pain Management in Las Vegas.  From July 6 to November 15, 2012, Kuthuru wrote prescriptions for Oxycodone, Percocet, MS Contin, Roxicodone and Methadone to undercover officers who posed as patients and who did not have a medical necessity for the drugs.  During each visit, Dr. Kuthuru performed no or minimal physical exam, and failed to refer the patient to a specialist, physical therapist or others for further diagnosis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.  Every day, 44 people in the U.S. die from overdose of prescription painkillers, and many more become addicted.

“We will continue to identify and prosecute bad doctors who are using their medical licenses to illegally deal drugs,” stated U.S. Attorney Bogden.  “Overprescribing and falsely prescribing with no medical need leads to more abuse and more overdose deaths.”

This case is being investigated by the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking (Nevada HIDTA) Pharm-Net Task Force, including the DEA, IRS Criminal Investigation, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department, and the Nevada Division of Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane M. Pomerantz.
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