U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Michigan
(313) 226-9100
January 22, 2015

Ferndale Physician Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Prescribing Pain Pills

A Ferndale physician was sentenced to 66 months in prison for fraudulently prescribing pain medication, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.

Joining McQuade in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh, III of the Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Chicago Regional Office.

Joel Adrian Milliner, M.D., 46, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen in Detroit, Michigan.

Milliner pleaded guilty on March 25, 2014, to one count of distribution of controlled substances. According to the plea documents, Milliner distributed 6,190 dosage units of oxymorphone and approximately 19,535 dosage units of oxycodone, both powerful narcotic painkillers, outside the scope of any legitimate medical practice. Milliner knew the individuals seeking these powerful drugs were going to sell them to others.

U.S. Attorney McQuade stated, “We hope that cases like this one will alert doctors that prescribing medically unnecessary prescription drugs is a serious crime that will land them in prison. More people die from overdoses of prescription drugs in America than from overdoses of all other drugs combined.”

“Physicians who recklessly prescribe medications knowing that they will be diverted and potentially harm the public will be held accountable”, said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General—Chicago Region. “The OIG and our partners will continue to focus our attention on instances where physicians choose to prescribe controlled substances outside the course of the legitimate medical need of their patients.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Ross.

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