Greensburg Doctor Pleads Guilty in Drug Conspiracy involving Arizona Pharmaceutical Company

Parkinson's disease patient, Arthritis hand and knee pain or mental health care concept with geriatric doctor consulting examining elderly senior aged adult in medical exam clinic or hospital

PITTSBURGH- A resident of Westmoreland County, PA, pleaded guilty to three counts of Conspiracy to Violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, Health Care Fraud, and Conspiracy to Distribute Phentermine Hydrochloride and Diethylpropion, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Thomas Whitten, age 71, of Greensburg, PA, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge William S. Stickman.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, from May 2013 to November 2015, Whitten conspired to receive kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company based in Arizona in exchange for prescribing Subsys, a powerful opioid narcotic containing fentanyl. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Subsys solely for the “management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients who are already receiving and who are tolerant to around the clock therapy for their underlying persistent cancer pain.” Whitten admitted to prescribing Subsys to patients for whom Subsys was not medically necessary and thus not eligible for insurance reimbursement. Further, Whitten admitted that from November 2017 through December 12, 2019, Whitten conspired with a co-conspirator to unlawfully distribute Schedule IV controlled substances, phentermine hydrochloride and diethylpropion, to patients at five weight loss clinics.

Breaking News:  Everton Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Conspiracy

Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for December 7, 2021. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Cindy K. Chung and Karen Gal-Or are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the Pennsylvania State Attorney General’s Office.

Breaking News:  Two SCI Inmates, Two Allegheny County Residents Charged in Schemes to Smuggle Synthetic Cannabinoids into State Prisons and to Obtain Pandemic Unemployment Benefits


Information on US v. Robert Bowers


Information for Crime Victims in Russian GRU Hacking/Anti-Doping Case

Victim Witness Assistance

Learn about victim notification and rights, witness information, and helpful resources.


Learn More

Law Enforcement Agencies

Law enforcement agencies and community partners help us reduce crime.


Learn More

Stop Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force

Protect yourself from fraud, and report suspected cases of financial fraud to local law enforcement.


Learn More

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.


Learn More


Sexual Harassment has No Place in the Workplace