On February 9th, 2016

Doctor Sentenced Following Landmark Murder Convictions in Prescription Drug Overdose Case

California Medical Board, lead investigative agency in this case

CSLEA-Badge-Logo-300_sqLOS ANGELES - On February 5, 2016, Hsiu Ying “Lisa” Tseng, 46, a Rowland Heights doctor, was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison for prescribing large amounts of addictive and dangerous drugs to patients with no legitimate need, three of whom died of overdoses in 2009.

Tseng became the first doctor in the United States to be convicted of murder for overprescribing drugs when a jury found her guilty on three counts of second-degree murder October 2015.

Tseng was convicted for the deaths of Vu Nguyen, 28, of Lake Forest; Steven Ogle, 24, of Palm Desert; and Joseph Rovero, 21, an Arizona State University student from San Ramon.

Nguyen died March 2, 2009. Ogle died a month later on April 9 and Rovero died on Dec. 18 in the same year. All were patients of Tseng, who prescribed a myriad of drugs for the three young men.

Tseng, licensed to practice in 1997, opened a storefront medical office in Rowland Heights in 2005. During the time frame when nine of her patients died in less than three years, Tseng took in more than $5 million from her clinic and continued dispensing potent and addictive drugs unabated.

Prosecutors said Tseng sometimes kept no medical records of visits or patient prescriptions. In many instances, she faked medical records when authorities began investigating.

Tseng has remained in custody since March 2012.

The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation in 2008 after a pharmacy reported overlapping customers. The lead investigative agency was the California Medical Board.

"First the convictions, now the sentencing, they both should send a very loud message to medical professionals who illegally prescribe and over prescribe powerful, addictive drugs to patients," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "A doctor should be helping his or her patients not inflicting harm or killing them. Great work by all of those who investigated this case."

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