Denton Physician Guilty of Over-Prescribing Opioids

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

SHERMAN, Texas – A Denton physician has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Stanley Charles Evans, 63, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and health care fraud today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak.

“Evans gives other physicians a bad name,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.  “Sworn to do no harm, Evans failed by illegally prescribing narcotics that harmed many people.  More people die by opioid drug abuse than by vehicle and gun related deaths combined in the U.S. today.  This is a big problem and those who are supposed to heal the sick, but choose to become illegal drug dealers, will be investigated and prosecuted.”

According to information presented in court, beginning in 2017, Evans, a licensed physician operating a family medicine practice in Denton, unlawfully prescribed approximately 370,000 dosage units of hydrocodone outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.  An investigation began after it was reported that Evans was pre-signing opioid prescriptions for patients that were exhibiting drug seeking behavior.  Evans would pre-sign the scripts and the patients would be seen by his four nurse practitioners.  An investigation revealed patients were repeatedly able to obtain the strongest prescription for Hydrocodone from Evans and one of the nurses without ever being fully examined or providing any documentation regarding their “pain.”  It was also determined that Evans was only present at the office approximately half the time he claimed and that prescriptions for Schedule II opioids were being written for patients even while Evans was out of the country on vacation.  The investigation also revealed that nurses were seeing 20 to 30 patients a day and their salaries were production based, receiving a percentage of what they billed instead of a set salary.  Additionally, nurses were billing Medicare and TriCare under Evans’ medical identification number, which results in an increased charge to the government for physician services. In all,

Evans faces up to 20 years in federal prison.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Dallas Tactical Diversion Squad, Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Services, and Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Johnson.

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