Ex-doctor convicted of overprescribing opioids to addicted patients

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(NEW YORK) — A former Ohio doctor was convicted of overprescribing opioids despite knowing her patients were severely addicted, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Freeda Flynn was found guilty on eight counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, according to the Justice Department.

She faces a maximum sentence of 160 years in prison.

The State Medical Board of Ohio revoked Flynn’s medical license in January 2021, according to federal authorities. Prior to losing her license, Flynn owned and operated a solo private practice which purported to help patients overcome opioid addiction, including by weaning them off the drug.

In fact, prosecutors said, Flynn was operating so-called “pill mill” schemes involving opioids. She was originally charged in 2019, along with three other doctors.

In a separate case, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced Wednesday that a Florida doctor was sentenced to five years in prison for distributing large amounts of opioid medication without justification.

Dr. Ronald Lubetsky was convicted on seven counts of unlawfully distributing narcotics, according to the DEA. Some of his patients were also arrested for setting up drug deals in the waiting room of Lubetsky’s office, the agency said.

“Dr. Lubetsky is innocent,” defense attorney Brandon Sample said in a statement to ABC News. “The errors and injustices in his case will hopefully be recognized and addressed by the court of appeals.”

In recent years, U.S. attorneys across the country have stepped up prosecutions of illegal prescription providers.

A Justice Department task force, in coordination with state and federal law enforcement agencies, has secured convictions of more than 60 defendants since 2018.

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