A New Orleans doctor whose medical license was suspended last year pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of illegally dispensing prescription drugs as well as money laundering.
Frederick Floyd, 58, faces a mandatory 10 years in prison if U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans accepts the plea deal at a sentencing hearing tentatively set for Dec. 28, Acting U.S. Attorney Duane Evans' office said Thursday.
Federal authorities arrested Floyd on July 7 on allegations that he teamed up with others to operate a "pill mill" in New Orleans East, prescribing medications such as the powerful painkiller Oxycodone to patients who paid cash but didn't need the drugs. Investigators said Floyd dispensed nearly 5 million doses of prescription medication between Jan. 1, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2016, by seeing up to 70 patients a day. Authorities noted that more than a million of the doses in question were Oxycodone, which is highly addictive, often leads consumers to turn to heroin, and is blamed for helping fuel the nation's ongoing opioid abuse crisis.
Undercover operations led by Drug Enforcement Administration agents posing as patients of clinics where Floyd worked helped build the case against the doctor, whose license was suspended in September 2016, during the investigation into him and his colleagues, according to records.
Other federal and local law enforcement personnel also assisted in the case, Evans' office said.
In other cases discussed by Evans' office Thursday:
• Eduardo Torres Guerrero, a 24-year-old Mexican national who travelled to the United States in February, received a 16-month prison sentence Thursday after previously pleading guilty to illegally possessing a .32-caliber pistol. Torres was arrested after being stopped by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office on Feb. 8, and he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk, Evans' office said.
• Sunyup Kim, 41, of Granada Hills, California, received a one-year prison sentence Thursday after previosuly admitting his role in a $38 million fraud scheme involving giving "talking glucose meters" to Medicare recipients when the devices weren't necessary and frequently not even requested, Evans' office said. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon gave Kim the sentence and ordered him to pay nearly $94,000 in restitution as part of the Medicare fraud case.
Kim and three other defendants ran the scheme through a companies based in Metairie and Chatsworth, California. They were accused of paying kickbacks to workers at call centers in California and South Carolina, where operators cold-dialed Medicare recipients and convinced them to accept talking glucose meters as well as accessories, resulting in thousands of fraudulent Medicare claims filed by the Metairie and California companies, Evans' office said.