NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Clarksville doctor has been convicted of 36 counts related to a so-called pill mill operation where two people overdosed while at the clinic.
Last month, 59-year-old Dr. Samson Orusa was convicted of federal drug charges, healthcare fraud, money laundering, and illegally distributing oxycodone at his medical practice, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee. Dr. Orusa was initially charged in a 45-count indictment in December 2018 and was found guilty of 36 counts.
During a two-week trial in August, Dr. Orusa was convicted of maintaining a drug-involved premise, 13 counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the bounds of professional medical practice, 13 counts of health care fraud, seven counts of money laundering, and two counts of laundering more than $10,000 of criminally derived property. The jury acquitted Dr. Orusa of nine counts of illegal distribution of oxycodone.
On Friday, a federal jury also determined that five bank accounts, one annuity, and one 401K, with a combined value of more than $918,000 was subject to forfeiture, and also a 2017 Mercedes Benz.
“Physicians like Dr. Orusa who violate their oath and engage in such reckless conduct and contribute to the opioid epidemic facing this nation can expect to bear the full force and effect of the federal justice system,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stewart. “I commend our prosecutors and law enforcement partners for their exceptionally hard work in thoroughly investigating this case and preparing it for a successful prosecution.”
While operating a pain clinic in Clarksville, evidence showed Dr. Orusa routinely prescribed oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances without prior medical history, physical exams, or running tests. Evidence also showed two patients overdosed while inside the clinic.
Former employees and patients said the clinic was a standing room only lobby. Patients with insurance were allegedly forced to visit the clinic multiple times each month and receive cortisone shots in order to receive pain medicine. Patients paying cash did not have the same requirements, according to the trial.
Walmart and CVS pharmacies refused to fill prescriptions written by Dr. Orusa due to the excessive number of controlled substances. He also billed Medicare for 57 patients a single day despite being at the clinic for less than six hours.
Dr. Orusa faces up to 20 years in prison on each drug-related count and up to 10 years in prison on each healthcare fraud and money laundering count. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
For more information on the case, click here.