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June 11, 2021

Medical Doctor Sentenced For Drug Trafficking and Health Care Fraud Offenses

On May 27, Michael LaPaglia, M.D. was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in Knoxville, Tennessee. LaPaglia, who previously lost his authorization to write prescriptions for controlled substances, had pleaded guilty to an information charge charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute controlled substances and one count of making a material false statement in connection with the delivery of health care benefits. The charges stem from LaPaglia’s involvement in a mobile Suboxone clinic through which LaPaglia issued prescriptions for Suboxone, Clonazepam, diazepam, and Pregabalin in the name of another doctor.

In 2018, investigators learned that LaPaglia would meet patients at his home and in parking lots where LaPaglia would give the drug customers prescriptions for controlled substances, without any meaningful examination. Customers were charged $300 cash per monthly visit. The customers would then take their prescriptions to be filled at pharmacies, where a number of them used their health insurance to pay for the controlled substances.