(WBRE/WYOU-TV) An area doctor is heading to prison for running a pill mill.
Federal prosecutors say dozens of lives were impacted by his crime and one woman even died from an opioid overdose.
The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the details
Federal Prosecutors say Dr. Fuhai Li from Milford took advantage of people who came to him for help. Now, he spends the next 27 and a half years behind bars.
“Mr. Li was not a doctor, he was a drug dealer,” Said Thomas Hodnett, DEA
A drug dealer with a medical license. So say federal agents about Dr. Fuhai Li. In a rare news conference following sentencing, Wednesday federal prosecutors talked about the case. Dr. Fuhai Li was convicted in 2016 for unlawfully prescribing tens of thousands of prescriptions for opioids between 2011 and 2015–mostly oxycodone – to 23 of his patients.
A Honesdale woman died from an overdose…another woman gave birth to a baby that was addicted to opioids.
“Scores of lives changed. People who are going to fight opioid addiction for the rest of their lives. It’s not something that’s going away it something they have to battle with ever,” David Freed. U.S. Attorney Middle District of PA
Investigators say many of his patients paid him cash for the drugs. Which they then sold on the streets of Northeastern Pennsylvania to make a profit.
“This man who is educated and highly compensated, had every advantage, and was able to give his family every advantage, not only took himself down he took down scores of other people,” Said Freed.
Federal agents say he was making so much money from selling illegal prescriptions that they fund more than a million dollars in cash in his home. And another million dollars hidden in a bank account controlled by him.
“I think the evidence showed would have shown that there were people coming from a large wide area. There is a network and when people find out about these doctors they do travel to them,” Said Ray Tonkin, Pike County District Attorney.
Dr. Fuhai was also convicted of tax evasion for failing to pay $800,000 dollars in taxes to the U.S. Government.–plus his medical license was revoked.
Dr. Fuhai is expected to appeal his verdict.
For now, he will serve his time in a federal prison without the chance of parole.