Ohio physician pleads guilty to writing illegal prescriptions, healthcare fraud

Jeffrey Sutton, DO, has pleaded guilty to 31 counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances, one count of illegally distributing controlled substances and 20 counts of healthcare fraud. 

Dr. Sutton, 65, who practiced in Niles, Ohio, prescribed patients unnecessary controlled substances from 2015 to 2022, leading to fraudulent billing of healthcare benefit programs, according to a Jan. 31 news release from the U.S. Justice Department. 

He also escalated opioid dosages prescribed to his patients, in some instances by over 1,000 percent and 22 times over the dosage approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Dr. Sutton admitted in court that he ignored warnings provided by prescription drug management organizations, insurance carriers, and state authorities as well as patient requests to lower dosages, according to the release.

He will be sentenced May 23.

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