Former Physician is Sentenced to 30 Months after Conviction for Diverting Prescription Opioids
SAN ANTONIO – A former San Antonio doctor was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 30 months in prison for conspiring with others to dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.
According to court documents, Paul Silva, 48, admitted that he unlawfully and fraudulently issued more than 500 prescriptions for more than 40,000 dosage units of controlled substances, primarily opioids, in the names of living and deceased family members, former patients and others, after his medical license expired and then was suspended. Co-conspirators picked up the prescription medications and distributed them to unknown individuals and not to legitimate patients of the doctor.
Silva’s co-defendants Denton Thomas, 38, and Nicholas Klumpp, 32, both of San Antonio, pleaded guilty earlier. Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of dispensing and possession with intent to dispense a controlled substance without lawful medical purpose and aiding and abetting. He is scheduled for sentencing in April 2024. Klumpp pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to dispense and to possess with intent to dispense and distribute controlled substances without lawful medical purpose and one count of dispensing and possession with intent to dispense a controlled substance without lawful medical purpose and aiding and abetting. On September 25, 2023, Klumpp was sentenced to 27 months on both counts to run concurrently.
“Despite losing his medical privileges in the State of Texas, Silva continued to prescribe hundreds of highly addictive prescription pills to himself and fictitious patients, further fueling the opioid problem facing our country," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Houston Division. “Our collaborative efforts will continue to hold those who hurt our communities by defrauding the system accountable.”
“The nonmedical use of opioids and opioid addiction has become a nationwide epidemic. Overdose deaths in this country have eclipsed automobile deaths as the leading cause of death. By dispensing opioids and other controlled substances that were meant for legitimate medical treatment and working to have them distributed on the streets for profit, Silva has contributed to this epidemic and endangered many lives,” said. United States Attorney Jaime Esparza. “My office will continue to work closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement agencies to attempt to slow this epidemic by going after physicians and others who divert prescription drugs from their legitimate medical purpose to the streets.”
DEA investigated the case.