New Bern doctor convicted on 13 federal drug and financial charges

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT)

On Monday in U.S. Federal Court, a former doctor in New Bern was found guilty of 13 federal charges for allegedly prescribing opioid drugs illegally, money laundering, and evading taxes.

Sanjay Kumar, age 53, of New Bern, had a 26-day jury trial in U.S. Federal Court of the Eastern District of North Carolina, and was convicted on Monday on the following charges:

5 counts of Unlawful Distribution of Oxycodone outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
5 counts of Money Laundering by Concealment
3 counts of Attempt to Evade and Defeat Tax

Investigators said Kumar was a licensed medical doctor who operated a sports medicine and rehabilitation practice in New Bern, North Carolina from 2004 until June 21, 2016, when his ability to prescribe controlled substances was limited by the state medical board.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Charlotte-based Tactical Diversion Squad began investigating Kumar when they were notified by local pharmacies about the number and frequency with which he was writing prescriptions for opioid narcotics.

A multi-agency investigation was initiated in early 2014 by the DEA, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, and the New Bern Police Department. 

At trial, the evidence showed that Kumar prescribed oxycodone and other controlled substances with little or no medical examination.

Multiple witnesses testified that Kumar operated a cash-only practice, there was no additional staff in the office, and the patients received a prescription from Kumar at every visit without distinction, based on their history of prior medications, prior treatment, and medical diagnoses.

The evidence showed that Kumar wrote approximately 9,500 opioid prescriptions between the years of 2011 to 2016. 

Kumar is scheduled to be sentenced in January of 2020.

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