PHILADELPHIA, PA — United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that 63-year-old Yutong Zhang of Berwyn, PA, a physician, pleaded guilty this week before United States District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson to charges stemming from his operation of what was, in essence, a ‘pill mill’ rather than a medical practice focused on pain management located in St Davids, PA.
According to court documents, the defendant pleaded guilty to an Information charging four counts of distributing oxycodone-containing medications outside of the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose. From approximately 2016 through 2020, Zhang sold medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances to about 120 so-called patients, who were actually cash-paying customers. The defendant supplied these prescriptions frequently after conducting a cursory physical examination or without any examination at all, and did not take steps, such as ordering diagnostic testing, designed to discern the root cause of the pain reportedly suffered by patients.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to stopping drug-dealing doctors like Zhang,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “As a physician, he was well aware of the inherently dangerous nature of the drugs he was selling. But because of his greed, he took advantage of vulnerable people struggling with addiction, piling on to the enormous opioid epidemic ravaging the communities in our District.”
“Medical practitioners are trusted to care for our health needs,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “When they exploit their position and betray their license to line their own pockets, they not only corrupt the system, they contribute the very epidemic we are trying so hard to fight. This defendant’s actions were akin to those of a drug dealer; the only difference is, he peddled his poison from an office instead of a street corner.”
“Dr. Zhang abused his position of trust and authority to run a pill mill and illegally prescribe the medications that are fueling the opioid crisis here in Pennsylvania,” said AG Shapiro. “We are grateful for our partners in this case, and we will continue to work together to stop the flow of illegal drugs into our communities which take the lives of 14 Pennsylvanians every day.”
The case was investigated by the Radnor Police Department, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Abrams.
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