Pain Clinic Owners Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegal Opioid Prescribing
MILWAUKEE - John G. McGarry, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Wisconsin, and Acting United States Attorney Richard G. Frohling announced that on Dec. 10, 2021, Lisa Hofschulz, 61, formerly a licensed nurse practitioner in the state of Wisconsin, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, and Robert Hofschulz, 74, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, was sentenced to three years in federal prison for their involvement in a drug-trafficking conspiracy and “pill mill” operation.
Lisa Hofschulz and Robert Hofschulz were the owners and operators of Clinical Pain Consultants (“CPC”), which operated in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Following a nine-day trial in August 2021, a federal jury found Lisa Hofschulz guilty of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone, Methadone, and other opioids outside of a professional medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The jury also found that Lisa Hofschulz’s unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulted in the death of at least one patient. The jury found Robert Hofschulz guilty of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and unlawful distribution of controlled substances.
The evidence presented at trial established that Lisa and Robert Hofschulz ran CPC as a “pill mill” through which they distributed millions of opioids and other controlled substances throughout 2015 and 2016. The evidence showed that Lisa Hofschulz prescribed opioids and other dangerous controlled substances to 99% of patients, each of whom paid $200 in cash per month for their prescriptions.
The evidence also established that Lisa and Robert Hofschulz distributed controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, including by mailing prescriptions to favored patients and prescribing to customers who were not seen by a medical provider. For at least one patient, Lisa Hofschulz’s prescriptions resulted in death. According to the trial evidence, during 2015 and 2016, Lisa Hofschulz was the number one prescriber of oxycodone and methadone in Wisconsin, as compared to all Medicaid providers.
“The opioid crisis continues to disrupt lives and cause injuries and overdose deaths throughout Wisconsin,” said Acting United States Attorney Frohling. “For many, the road to opioid addiction began with prescription drugs like the ones that CPC and the Hofschulzes willingly provided in exchange for cash. The Justice Department remains committed to holding accountable individuals who abuse their prescribing privileges to enrich themselves without regard to the damage done to their patients and their communities.”
“With nearly 100,000 Americans dying each year due to opioid overdose, medical professionals who violate their oaths to do no harm must be fully held accountable,” said ASAC McGarry. “The DEA will continue keeping Wisconsin families safe from opioids that have been diverted from legitimate medical supplies.”
The DEA investigated the case with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service, Division of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys Julie F. Stewart and Laura S. Kwaterski prosecuted the case.