LOS ANGELES – On August 14, 2014, a jury convicted a Los Angeles-area doctor on federal drug trafficking charges for illegally distributing drugs, including powerful and addictive painkillers such as hydrocodone (Vicodin and Norco), alprazolam (Xanax), and diazepam (Valium) .
Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of La Mirada, was convicted of 14 counts of distributing controlled substances and three counts of money laundering after a three-day trial in Los Angeles.
Sun issued more than 24,000 prescriptions for controlled substances between 2009 and 2012 which netted $1 million dollars in cash. Some of those prescriptions were issued to undercover California Medical Board investigators who went into Sun's offices. Sun prescribed drugs, including hydrocodone, to undercover agents on 13 separate occasions, each time in exchange for $150 cash.
An affidavit quoted Sun telling one undercover agent: “So if you want to insist on getting such a strong medicine, I’ll give it to you. I’m just a doctor, I’m not God, okay, so I cannot say no to something that you want to do… I only advise you not to, but, if you want to do it I can’t do, I can’t say no.”
An investigation by IRS - Criminal Investigation showed that Sun and his wife controlled 44 bank accounts, and that Sun deposited more than $1.1 million in cash into his accounts between 2008 and July 2012.
"Medical Board investigators have investigated this doctor for years," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "He was placed on administrative probation at one point, yet, continued to illegally prescribe highly addictive pills for people who didn't need them. It was all about money and worked against a safe and healthy society."
Sun now faces up to 157 years in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for November 10, 2014.
The investigation into Sun was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS - Criminal Investigation, the California Medical Board, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.