Florida pain physician, CEO convicted for $4.5M fentanyl scheme

Former CEO and owner of Sarasota (Fla.) Pain Associates Steven Chun, MD, 59, was found guilty of a more than $4.5 million fentanyl kickback and bribery scheme, the Justice Department said May 24.

Dr. Chun was convicted on five separate counts of receiving kickbacks, the department said. He prescribed a large volume of the expensive liquid fentanyl spray Subsys. Daniel Tondre, 52, a sales representative for Insys Therapeutics, the drug's manufacturer and distributor, paid Dr. Chun $2,400 to $3,000 for bogus speaking events he organized in exchange for prescribing more Subsys.

The events were often only attended by Dr. Chun's family and friends, and included falsified or forged signatures of attendees who weren't actually present, the department said. Insys bribed Dr. Chun by hiring his then-girlfriend to work as a liaison to facilitate Subsys insurance form approval. Some of the forms were submitted for Medicare patients.

Dr. Chun was paid more than $278,000 in bribes and kickbacks over a period of less than three years, the department said. Mr. Tondre earned more than $737,000 in salary and sales commissions over two and a half years.

They each face a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy and up to 10 years for each kickback violation. Mr. Tondre also faces up to an additional five years for each identification fraud count.

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