Bonifay Doctor Settles Controlled Substances Act Violations For $130,000

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA —Ahmad T. Ismail, 70, of Bonifay, Florida, settled potential violations of the Controlled Substances Act by agreeing to pay a fine of $130,000 and surrendering his Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration.  The settlement was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“A physician’s failure to adhere to the safeguards of the Controlled Substances Act can facilitate the diversion of addictive drugs, illegal distribution of those substances, and risk of overdose,” said U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to utilize both the civil and criminal provisions of the Controlled Substances Act to protect our communities and hold violators responsible.”

Ismail entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida. The terms of the settlement include a provision that Ismail will surrender his DEA registration and will not reapply for a period of at least three years. In addition, Ismail will pay a fine of $130,000. 

Beginning in December 2018, DEA investigators conducted a routine inspection of Ismail’s practice in Bonifay, Florida. During that inspection and subsequent investigation, they discovered numerous potential civil violations of the Controlled Substances Act, including:

  1. Failing to keep complete and accurate records, revealing significant discrepancies between the number of dosage units in inventory and the number of dosage units purchased using Dr. Ismail’s DEA registration number;
  2. Failing to complete a biennial inventory;
  3. Failing to maintain accurate and complete records of dispensation/administration of controlled substances;
  4. Failing to maintain complete and accurate dispensing records to include the name of the substance, quantity, date dispensed, address of person whom it was dispensed, the written or typewritten name or initials of the individual who dispensed the substance, the drug strength, and units in each container; and
  5. Failing to sign and date a controlled substance prescription on the date of issuance on at least two occasions.

“As trusted members of the community, medical professionals are required to adhere to the federal laws regarding controlled substances as set forth in the Controlled Substances Act,” said DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “Our communities can rest assured that DEA will pursue civil actions against any DEA Registrant who violates these federal laws as well as the trust of the American public.”

This civil settlement agreement is not an admission of any liability by Dr. Ismail, nor a concession by the United States that its potential claims were not well-founded. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Mary Ann Couch, Kathryn Drey, and Marie Moyle represented the United States in this matter, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Diversion Control Program. 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.