Pill mill doctor is sentenced to 27 years in prison

Dr. Fuhai Li was convicted for illegal prescriptions, including one that caused a death

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  • Dr. Fuhai Li (File photo)

  • Dr. Fuhai Li's office in Milford (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

By Frances Ruth Harris

— U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo sentenced Dr. Fuhai Li, who wrote almost 27,000 opioid prescriptions out of his Milford offices, to more than 27 years in prison.

Li was sentenced on April 3. He was found guilty last June of illegally prescribing opioids to 23 former patients, including a Honesdale woman who died after using medication he prescribed.

U.S. Attorney David Freed said Li also violated the law for money laundering and tax evasion.

Li prescribed 120 30-milligram oxycodone tablets to a pregnant woman. Her baby spent ten days in intensive care withdrawing from the oxycodone that Li prescribed to the mother when he owned and operated the Neurology and Pain Management Center in Milford.

Prescriptions without medical careLi ran a "pill mill," a term used to describe a doctor, clinic, or pharmacy that dispenses high quantities of highly addictive narcotics for non-medical reasons. Li was found to have regularly prescribed high doses of opioids without first performing medical exams or acquainting himself with his patients' medical histories. He was also found to have falsified their medical histories in an attempt to legitimize the illegal prescriptions.

Between August 2011 and January 2015, 99.37 percent of Li’s 26,985 prescriptions were written for opioids. This included 18,115 for oxycodone. Of those, 12,129 were written for 30 milligrams, the highest available dose.

Some patients who had completed drug rehabilitation were again addicted as a result of Li’s prescriptions. And some sold the oxycodone he prescribed on the street after getting prescriptions from LI.

Investigators found that three patients had sex with Li, one regularly for four years. They also found $1 million in cash stashed under beds and in closets in his residences.

His unreported taxable income exceeded $800,000.

The four-year investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division, and the Pike County District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski, Francis P. Semps, and Evan Gotlob prosecuted the case.

Related storiesPlease see these related stories at pikecountycourier.com:

"Milford doctor surrenders to US Marshals"

"How to recognize a pill mill"

"Milford doctor found guilty of overprescribing opioids"

"Attorney: Accused pill mill doctor 'did nothing wrong'"

"Feds arrest Milford doctor in pill mill bust"

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