NEPA Doctor Found Guilty Of Drug Distribution Resulting In Death,
Money Laundering And Tax Charges
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle
District of Pennsylvania, announced that Dr. Fuhai Li, age 53, of
Milford, was found guilty of unlawfully prescribing oxycodone and
other opioids to 23 former patients, including a Honesdale woman
who died as a result of using the pills. Dr. Li faces a mandatory 20-
year prison sentence for causing the woman’s death.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the jury also
convicted Dr. Li of unlawfully prescribing oxycodone to a pregnant
woman outside the usual course of medical practice and not for a
legitimate medical purpose. That woman gave birth to an opioid-
dependent baby 11 days after Dr Li prescribed her 120 oxycodone
30 milligram tablets. A neo-natal specialist testified that the baby
spent ten days in intensive care withdrawing from the oxycodone
prescribed to his mother by Dr Li.
During the five-week trial before Senior U.S. District Court Judge A.
Richard Caputo, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office
presented the testimony of 19 former patients and three former
employees of Dr. Li, eight pharmacists, three other physicians, an
expert on pain management, the medical records for 39 former
patients of Dr Li, and the testimony of federal law enforcement
agents and investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) and its Diversion Division, and Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) special agents. Li owned and operated the Neurology and
Pain Management Center in Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania. Li
was a physician licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and authorized to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances for
legitimate medical purposes and in the usual course of professional
practice. The jury found that Dr Li repeatedly prescribed oxycodone
and other opioids outside the usual course of medical practice and
not for a legitimate medical purpose.
Former patients testified that Dr Li repeatedly prescribed them high
doses of oxycodone and other opioids every month over several
years without performing medical examinations and without
verifying their prior medical treatment. Evidence was Dr Li
repeatedly falsified patient medical records and made material
omissions in those records in an effort to legitimize the unlawful
Prosecutors presented evidence that between Aug 2011 and Jan
2015, Dr. Li wrote 26,985 prescriptions for Schedule II controlled
substances, 99.37% of which were written for opioids. This
included 18,115 prescriptions for oxycodone, of which 12,129 were
written for oxycodone 30 milligrams, the highest dosage available in
short acting oxycodone. Other opioids frequently prescribed by Dr.
Li included methadone, OxyContin, hydrocodone and
Former patients testified that they became dependent and addicted
to opioids as a result of Dr. Li’s prescriptions. Evidence also
established that Dr. Li prescribed high dose opioids to patients who
he knew had recently completed drug rehabilitation and
detoxification programs, resulting in those patients becoming
addicted again to opioid pain medication.
Several former patients testified that they earned money by selling
drugs prescribed for them by Dr. Li and used part of the money to
buy heroin to support their own addiction. Some of those former
patients also subsequently sold heroin on the streets of PA， NJ.
One former female patient testified that she had sex with Dr Li on
almost every visit to his office during a four-year time period. Dr Li
prescribed that patient high doses of various opioids for
approximately four years. Two additional former female patients
testified to inappropriate sexual conduct by Dr Li during office visits.
DEA Agents seized more than $1 million in cash, hidden under
beds and in closets in his residences.