OAKLAND- On July 19, 2016, a federal judge sentenced Dr. Michael Roger Chiarottino, 68, of San Rafael, to three years in prison and five years of supervised release for prescribing painkillers for cash. Chiarottino pleaded guilty to one count of distributing oxycodone, outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.
According to the plea agreement, Chiarottino admitted that he prescribed large quantities of highly addictive painkillers to undercover agents posing as patients in exchange for cash.
"Physicians are people we trust with our health and our lives," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Federal, state and local law enforcement teamed up to investigate this doctor's actions. Illegally prescribing these powerful and addictive drugs contributes to an unsafe society on several levels."
Each time undercover agents met with Chiarottino, he failed to conduct an appropriate medical examination of, or obtain a sufficient patient medical history, to support prescriptions for such large quantities of narcotics.
The conditions of the supervised release include Dr. Chiarottino being barred from providing medical treatment or examining any patient in the course of any employment or professional practice. Chiarottino is also forbidden from prescribing medication or controlled substances to any person and may not supervise any medical practitioner in treating any medical patient or prescribing any medication. Finally, as a condition of his supervised release, Chiarottino is required to cooperate with and not contest any administrative action to revoke or suspend his license to practice medicine or prescribe controlled substances by the Medical Board of California and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Dr. Chiarottino’s medical license is currently suspended. He will begin serving his sentence on October 20, 2016.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Livermore Police Department, the Pleasanton Police Department, and the Medical Board of California.