HAMMOND - Jay Kaushik Joshi, age 34, of Woodridge, Illinois was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to 15 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release, a $7,500 fine, and a $100 special assessment after pleading guilty to the felony offense of dispensing hydrocodone, an opioid, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.
“Prescribing controlled substances that are not medically necessary intensify the opioid problem our Nation faces,” said US Attorney Kirsch. “We, working with our law enforcement partners, are focused on reducing opioid abuse in the Northern District of Indiana. Doctors who abuse their authority are just one of the areas on which our partners are focusing.”
“Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to the medical “professionals” who exploit their power, prey on the delicate members of our community who are struggling among today’s opioid crisis, and their loved ones. The trust that is dissolved does a disservice to the true medical professionals who care for us and our families,” remarked Chicago Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Brian M. McKnight.
According to documents in the case, Joshi practiced medicine at Prestige Clinics in Munster, Indiana. Joshi was a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the State of Indiana and until November 21, 2017, was registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances, including opioids. Between September 2017 and December 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Munster Police Department obtained information about Joshi’s history of prescribing controlled substances through Indiana’s prescription monitoring system, INSPECT. INSPECT is a tool to address the problem of prescription drug abuse and diversion of controlled substances. Investigators obtained data from INSPECT, which showed that from April 2017 to November 21, 2017, Joshi issued over 6,000 prescriptions for controlled substances, the most of any medical provider in Lake County and the ninth-most in the entire State of Indiana, including more than 150 hospitals. At sentencing, Joshi was held responsible for his involvement in the distribution of hydrocodone, an opioid, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Joshi’s medical license has been suspended since February 7, 2018.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Munster, Indiana Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Mahoney and Diane Berkowitz.