YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Doctor Sentenced in Illegal Distribution of OxyContin

June 21, 2002|From Associated Press

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — A doctor accused of dispensing the powerful painkiller OxyContin to drug addicts and dealers on demand was sentenced Thursday to 30 to 120 years in prison.

Dr. Richard G. Paolino, 59, was found guilty in April of forgery, delivery of a controlled substance and practicing medicine without a license. He also was convicted on 179 counts of insurance fraud.

He could have received up to life in prison.

Authorities said Paolino was once the primary source of OxyContin in several Philadelphia neighborhoods. Drug dealers and former addicts testified Paolino gave them prescriptions for OxyContin on demand.

OxyContin, a narcotic painkiller meant to last 12 hours, is widely prescribed for victims of chronic pain. By crushing the medicine and then snorting or injecting it, abusers can get a quick, heroin-like high.

The drug has been blamed for the deaths of scores of abusers, many of them in Appalachia.

Paolino had lost his medical license in 2000 because he had no malpractice insurance. Prosecutors said he had two other doctors sign blank prescriptions for him and submitted insurance claims worth $173,892.

Los Angeles Times Articles