BUFFALO –An Erie County doctor was sentenced to two years in prison for illegally dispensing drugs.
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced that Pravin Mehta, 78, of Amherst, who was convicted of conspiring to illegally dispense controlled substances from his medical office was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The defendant also was ordered to pay a fine of $500,000, in addition to $125,000 previously forfeited in this case.
Mehta is a former physician who practiced medicine in Niagara Falls. Mehta surrendered his medical license when he was charged in this case in January 2011.
Mehta wrote prescriptions for narcotic pain medications, such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone, for individuals without conducting legitimate medical examinations. In 2010, investigators sent four individuals to see the defendant at his office on 10 different occasions. On all but the last visit, Mehta issued prescriptions for controlled substance pain medication at the request of the individuals without conducting a thorough medical exam.
In addition, on four separate occasions between December 2007 and January 2010, prior to leaving the country for several weeks, Mehta signed blank prescriptions and directed his office manager, who was not a trained medical provider, to complete the prescriptions whenever a patient came to the office in his absence seeking pain medicine.
Mehta was arrested in January 2011, along with 13 others. All 14 individuals have now been convicted and sentenced.