A Louisiana doctor pleaded guilty yesterday to operating a "pill mill," threatening to kill law enforcement agents and committing healthcare fraud.
Shannon Christopher Ceasar, 44, a physician and former co-owner and operator of Gulf South Physician’s Group in Metairie, entered a guilty plea to those charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Ceasar, who was arrested last July, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense oxycodone and prescribing controlled substances to drug seekers and abusers in exchange for money and sex, prosecutors said. He also pleaded guilty to making repeated threats to assault or murder federal Drug Enforcement Administration officers when he suspected he was under investigation.
Prosecutors said Ceasar’s fraudulent prescriptions cost Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana about $150,000, resulting in the healthcare fraud charge. He now faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of more than $1 million. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 26.
"Rather than doing no harm as a physician, Shannon Ceasar illegally dispensed oxycodone into a community struggling with an epidemic of opioid addiction,” then U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said in a statement last July, according to a Times-Picayune report. Drug overdoses have continued to rise as the leading cause of injury death in the U.S.