Meet Doctor Death
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The former chief of medicine at Stafford Hospital was indicted by a federal grand jury today on 45 counts charging the defendant with operating a chronic pain management practice through which she illegally distributed a wide range of prescription drugs to over 100 patients.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Charles E. Jett, Stafford County Sheriff; and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, made the announcement.
Nibedita Mohanty, 56, of Stafford, Virginia, was indicted on one count of participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances; one count of distributing and dispensing a controlled substance resulting in the death of a patient; two counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury (nonfatal overdoses); thirty-eight counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances; two counts of aiding and abetting health care fraud; and one count of aiding and abetting money laundering.
Mohanty faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10 million fine, if she is convicted of the major drug trafficking charge relating to the death of a patient after consuming oxycodone.
According to the indictment, Mohanty was a physician and served as the Chief of Medicine at Stafford Hospital from June 2009 to February 2013. Starting in 2008, Mohanty represented herself as a chronic pain management doctor and treated over 100 patients. In April 2013, the Virginia Board of Medicine suspended Mohanty’s medical license, and in September 2013, Mohanty surrendered her license for a period of three years.
According to court records, Mohanty distributed controlled substances, often for excessive dosages, to patients outside the bounds of professional practice and with no legitimate medical purpose, in exchange for cash sums paid by these patients for visits. Mohanty also issued a number of prescriptions for controlled substances—such as oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine—despite knowing that her patients were abusing, misusing, distributing or selling the controlled substances.
In May 2011, for example, Mohanty prescribed 760 oxycodone 30 mg tablets, 120 OxyContin 80 mg tablets and 120 Dilaudid 8 mg tablets to a single patient, identified as V.W. in the indictment. On June 1, 2011, V.W. consumed a portion of the oxycodone dispensed by Mohanty, allegedly causing V.W.’s death. In addition, as a result of Mohanty’s prescriptions, other patients allegedly suffered serious bodily injury through nonfatal overdoses.
The indictment further alleges that Mohanty prescribed medications containing buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance, for substance abuse and withdrawal, even though she did not have the requisite DEA license to do so. In addition, Mohanty wrote prescriptions knowing that patients would attempt to fill the prescriptions using their health insurance, thereby causing fraudulent claims to be submitted to the patients’ insurance companies.
As alleged in the indictment, Mohanty received cash payments from her patients, and she used those payments to support a lavish lifestyle and maintain a large home, which included a swimming pool, for which she paid $32,000 cash in numerous denominations stuffed in envelopes.
This case was initiated and investigated by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and assisted by the FBI’s Richmond and Washington Field Offices and the Virginia State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Rossi and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Ballantyne and Nicole Grosnoff are prosecuting the case.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.