Denton, Texas-based physician Stanley Charles Evans, MD, has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations, the U.S. Justice Department said Sept. 12.
Beginning in 2017, Dr. Evans, 63, allegedly unlawfully prescribed 370,000 dosages of hydrocodone without a legitimate medical purpose at his family medicine practice.
An investigation began after it was disclosed that Dr. Evans was prescribing opioid prescriptions for patients showing drug-seeking behavior. He would pre-sign the scripts, and many patients would be seen exclusively by the nurse practitioners at his office.
The investigation also determined Dr. Evans was only present at the office half the time he said he was and that opioid prescriptions were being written while he was out of the country. Nurses were seeing 20 to 30 patients a day and salaries were based on a percentage of what they billed instead of a set salary.
Dr. Evans pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and healthcare fraud. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
"[Dr.] Evans gives other physicians a bad name," said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. "Sworn to do no harm, Evans failed by illegally prescribing narcotics that harmed many people."