July 12, 2016
Contact: Brian McNeal
Phone Number: (571) 362-1498
Michigan Doctor Receives Nearly 5 Year Federal Prison Sentence For Drug Distribution And Health Care Fraud
Federal Judge called Oscar Linares’ actions: “deliberate drug dealing by a doctor” Linares admitted to illegally prescribing over 1.2 million dosage units of controlled substances
DETROIT - A medical doctor has been sentenced on charges of unlawfully distributing prescription drug controlled substances, including the Schedule II prescription drug (oxycodone), and health care fraud, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by the Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Detroit Division, and Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Dr. Oscar Linares, 59, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Victoria Roberts to 57 months in prison. In pronouncing sentence, Judge Roberts described the case as “a serious breach of the public trust,” and “deliberate drug dealing by a doctor.” She termed his crimes a “callous disregard” of his “obligation to do no harm.” Referencing the significant number of medical professionals convicted in similar cases, she stated “This court cannot tolerate the level of abuse that has been going on by medical professionals.” Following his release from federal prison, Dr. Linares will serve three years of supervised release.
"This doctor will spend nearly five years in prison for running a pill mill and fueling the prescription drug addiction epidemic," McQuade said. "Doctors who poison our community by pushing pain pills for profit will be treated as criminals and held accountable."
Dr. Linares also forfeited approximately $236,000 seized from bank accounts; jewelry, luxury vehicles, two boats, and numerous other luxury items. The forfeiture was handled in a related civil forfeiture case.
According to court records, between April 1, 2008 and March of 2011, Linares, while operating the Monroe Pain Center located on LaPlaisance Road, prescribed millions of dosage units of Schedule II, III and IV narcotics, including opiates such as Oxycontin and Opana. For sentencing purposes, the defendant admitted to illegally prescribing over 1.2 million dosage units of controlled substances, as a conservative estimate of his illegal behavior. Linares also fraudulently billed Medicare, submitting patients to medical tests without regard to their symptoms or medical conditions.
Court records further showed that Linares prescribed controlled substances for as many as 250 patients per day, paying bonuses to his employees when the number of patients in a single day exceeded 200. Based on undercover patient visits, employee interviews and former patient interviews, Linares actually saw very few of the patients, and even when he briefly saw a patient, there was no legitimate examination or doctor-patient relationship.
United States Attorney McQuade commended the combined efforts of the DEA, the FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service, who were aided by local law enforcement agencies in this investigation.