Thursday, August 16, 2007

Athens TN doc wrote 35,000 unlawful prescriptions


A former Athens, TN Orthopedic Surgeon pled guilty to Obtaining Drugs by Fraud and Conspiracy to Obtain Drugs by Fraud earlier this week after a lengthy investigation conducted by the TBI’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Dr. Loren Nichols, 40, was arrested in April of 2006 and accused of writing prescriptions for self-use and for the use of his friends and family, many of whom worked for him. A two-year investigation revealed his writing more than 35,000 unlawful prescriptions of controlled substances. In July of 2007, Nichols faced 20 additional charges of Dispensing Prescriptions by Fraud as well as the original two fraud charges. There were nine other defendants related to this case. The majority of them have also pled guilty.

Nichols owned a practice on Cook Drive in Athens, TN and performed surgery at the Athens Regional Hospital from May 2003 until October 2004.

The Tennessee Related Boards suspended Nichols’ medical license in October of 2004. This week’s conviction resulted in his being sentenced to two years probation.