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LA doctor admits to dealing drugs

Posted: June 19, 2014 4:33 p.m.
Updated: June 19, 2014 4:19 p.m.

       LOS ANGELES – A  Los Angeles-area doctor will plead guilty to a federal drug trafficking charge for illegally distributing the powerful painkiller best known by the brand names Vicodin and Norco.

      In a plea agreement filed late this afternoon  Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of La Mirada has agreed to plead guilty to one count of distribution of hydrocodone and one count of money laundering.,Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Barron announced in a news release.
      While Sun has agreed to plead guilty to distributing hydrocodone, he admits in his plea agreement that he also illegally prescribed and distributed other drugs, including those best known by the brand names Xanax and Soma. Sun admits that he prescribed these drugs from the beginning on 2011 through June 2012 and that he did so “outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose,” the release said.
  Sun, who operated medical clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, was named in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury about three months ago. In his plea agreement, Sun acknowledges that he issued a dozen prescriptions to “patients” who were undercover law enforcement officers who made cash payments and who “did not have a legitimate medical need for the drugs.”
   Sun admitted that, between January 2011 and May 2012, he received approximately $554,070 in cash payments from patients, which he deposited into a personal account “for the purpose of disguising the source and nature of the funds, and which (as defendant knew) represented the proceeds from defendant’s issuance of prescriptions for controlled substances,” Barron said in the release.
    For pleading guilty to two felony charges, Sun also agreed to forfeit to the government the proceeds that he earned from his illegal medical practice, including approximately $342,000 seized from his accounts in July 2012.

        Sun’s case is pending before United States District Judge Manuel Real, who has not yet scheduled a hearing for Sun to enter his guilty pleas, the news release said.

        Sun is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for the drug trafficking charge, and the money laundering count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in custody, Barron said.

        Sun also will pay $86,975 in restitution to the California Medical Board, which helped in the investigation. Sun also agreed to cooperate in any action taken by the Medical Board to revoke his medical license, according to the news release.

       The Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS' criminal investigations section, the California Medical Board, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.were involved in investigating the case, Barron said in the news release.


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