United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that Sanjay Kumar, 53 of New Bern, North Carolina, was convicted after a 26-day jury trial before United States District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan.
Kumar is scheduled to be sentenced in January of 2020.
The jury found Kumar, who was a licensed medical doctor at the time of the offenses, guilty of five counts of ‘Unlawful Distribution of Oxycodone’ outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, five counts of ‘Money Laundering by Concealment’, and three counts of ‘Attempt to Evade and Defeat Tax’.
Kumar operated a sports medicine and rehabilitation practice in New Bern, North Carolina from 2004 until June 21, 2016, when his ability to prescribe controlled substances was limited by the North Carolina Medical Board, the evidence presented at trial showed.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Charlotte-based Tactical Diversion Squad began investigating Kumar when they were notified by local pharmacies about the number and frequency with which the Indian-American doctor was writing prescriptions for opioid narcotics. A multi-agency investigation was initiated in early 2014 by the DEA, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, and the New Bern Police Department, the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said..
At trial, the evidence showed Kumar prescribed oxycodone and other controlled substances with little or no medical examination, and that he wrote approximately 9,500 opioid prescriptions between the years of 2011 to 2016.
Multiple witnesses testified that he operated a cash-only practice, there was no additional staff in the office, and the patients received a prescription from him at every visit without distinction based on their history of prior medications, prior treatment, and medical diagnoses.