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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
March 22, 2004

False Prescription Scam Settled
Doctor Agrees to $200,000 Civil Fine

Minneapolis, MN - A Mankato, Minnesota neurosurgeon has admitted that he used his DEA registration number to fraudulently obtain prescriptions for himself by writing 68 false prescriptions in order to obtain more than 8,700 tablets of the painkiller Hydrocodone. Dr. Guy Mark Sava agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $200,000 to settle claims that between March 2000 and June 2001, he used the names of relatives and friends as fictitious patients to fraudulently obtain the prescription painkillers for himself.

Under the settlement agreement, Sava agreed to abstain from the use of any controlled substance and is prohibited from prescribing, dispensing, or administering any controlled substance for his own use or for a family member's use until March 31, 2007. Sava is also required to submit to the DEA on a monthly basis a log of all medications he prescribes in his practice and his records arc subject to random inspections by the DEA.

In June 2001 Sava became the subject of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration - Diversion Unit and the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force, which operates out of Mankato, Minnesota. The Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force will receive $50,000 from the settlement amount. The United States and the Drug Enforcement Administration are represented by Assistant United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota.


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