Gilbert Ghearing, MD, a former physician based in Crossville, Tenn., was found guilty on 45 counts related to the Controlled Substance Act, healthcare fraud and obstruction of justice, the Justice Department said March 29.
From 2016 to 2017, Dr. Ghearing, who owned a Celina, Tenn.-based medical clinic, prescribed Schedule II and Schedule IV drugs to patients suffering from substance use disorders, according to the report. Some of these patients used these substances with illicit drugs and alcohol and "repeatedly overdosed and were hospitalized," according to a news release.
Dr. Ghearing used pharmacies to submit fraudulent claims for these controlled substance prescriptions.
Dr. Ghearing was found guilty on 21 counts of healthcare fraud, 22 counts of prescribing controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose and two counts of obstruction of justice. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the controlled substance convictions, 20 years for the obstruction of justice convictions and 10 years for the healthcare fraud convictions, the release said.