On September 3rd, 2013

State Investigators Arrest Two Northern California Physicians Prescription Abuse Charges

Investigators from the Medical Board of California's (MBC)  Prescription Drug Strike Force arrested two physicians last week for allegedly prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate purpose. 

On  August 27, 2013, investigators, along with the Redding Police Department, arrested Dr. James Gregory White at the North Valley Medical Corporation.  Dr. White's physician assistant, Cheri Houghland, was also arrested. 

White is accused of excessive prescribing, prescribing to a known addict and prescribing drugs without a legitimate purpose.  White and Hougland are both suspected of conspiring in, and aiding and abetting, Medi-Cal violations relating to fraudulent claims.  Following their arrests, agents from the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder ABuse (BMFEA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of Inspector General served a search warrant at North Valley Medical Corporation and seized medical files of patients who are Medi-Cal beneficiaries. 

In a separate case, investigators also arrested Dr. Duke Fisher at his San Jose office for allegedly prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate purpose, prescribing controlled substances to someone who admitted to using heroin and methamphetamines, and excessive prescribing of drugs.

Fisher has two offices, one in San Jose and one in Monterey.  Investigators received a tip  alleging Fisher would prescribe any medication requested in exchange for cash.  Following the tip, undercover operations were conducted which lead to Fisher's arrest. 

"From one end of the state to the other, Medical Board of California investigators are going into physician's offices undercover  and exposing  the illegal prescription of drugs," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA).  CSLEA represents approximately 7,000 law enforcement, public safety and consumer protection professionals who work for the State of California, including MBC investigators.   "Just last week, three new counts were added against an Encino doctor charged with, now 11 felony counts of prescribing drugs illegally.   We can't have doctors adding to the drug addiction and prescription drug abuse in this state.  I applaud the work of these investigators."

According to MBC news releases dated August 28 and 29, 2013, Dr.  White  was being held without bail.  Dr. Fisher's bail was set at $64,000.

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