San Leandro Doctor Busted for Writing Illegal Vicodin Prescriptions to Undercover Agents

Categories: Crime, Health
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A San Leandro doctor has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his decision to write illicit Vicodin prescriptions to undercover Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents posing as patients addicted to the painkiller.

Alameda County prosecutors say that Dr. Naim Katiby, 62, a San Ramon resident with offices in San Leandro, was approached by the agents multiple times between November 2008 and January 2009. According to a statement from the office of District Attorney Nancy O'Malley:

Over the course of several undercover visits Dr. Katiby agreed to and did bill the agent's fictitious auto policy for injuries that the doctor knew were not sustained in an auto accident. Dr. Katiby over billed for the treatment provided and, at one point, actually created a false medical record and billing for a visit that never occurred. The doctor also negligently prescribed Vicodin to both undercover agents, who clearly exhibited behavior consistent with that of addicted users of the drug. On one occasion, he prescribed the narcotic without ever talking to or examining one of the undercover "patients."

Katiby will be placed on five years of felony probation as a result of his guilty plea, but it's unclear whether the Medical Board of California will move to suspend his license. The California Department of Insurance collaborated on the investigation with the Alameda County DA's office and DEA.

"Our community places deep trust in those who are trained and licensed to practice medicine, dentistry and other forms of health care," O'Malley said in a statement. "When that trust is broken by criminal wrongdoing, including the illegal prescription of narcotics, worker compensation fraud, insurance fraud, and the falsification of claims and billing, my office will prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law."

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 The VA expects almost 6.5 million patients will use the agency for their health care during the next fiscal year. The President's budget includes a medical care increase of about 4.1 percent over last year to $52.7 billion. These increases include upgrades in funding for mental health care and gender-specific health care for female veterans coming home from war, according to the VA.

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