Two healthcare professionals were sentenced to federal prison last week for illegally distributing opioids and other controlled substances in the Eastern District of Texas. After pleading guilty last October, Dr. Howard Gregg Diamond, a Sherman physician, received a 20-year sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substance and 10 more years for health care fraud.
Diamond began writing fraudulent prescriptions for hydrocodone, fentanyl, oxycodone and other opiates in 2010 from his pain management offices in Sherman and Paris, Texas. In 2014, an individual died after taking morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, and zolpidem that Gregg distributed. Court documents also show that six other overdose deaths were connected to Diamond’s prescriptions between 2010 and 2017.
Gregg also submitted a reimbursement claim to Medicare that he treated a patient in 2015 while he was in another state, resulting in the healthcare fraud conviction.
Another former doctor, Dr. Tad Taylor of Richardson was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for similar charges. His wife, a registered nurse named Chia Jen Lee, was sentenced to over 15 years in prison for the same charge as her husband. Taylor and Lee owned and operated Taylor Texas Medicine in Richardson. They were also convicted in October of last year.
“This is the type of behavior that has resulted in the opioid crisis in this country,” said United States Attorney Joseph D. Brown via release. “The number of pills Dr. Diamond was prescribing was shocking. When doctors care more about the money they are making than anything else, people can die, and in his case, they did. The severity of the sentences for these doctors is the kind we see for dealers of large amounts of street drugs. And really, that is what these doctors became – just drug dealers.”