SACRAMENTO – On February 22, 2018, formerly licensed cardiologist, Nicholas J. Capos Jr., 67, of Yuba City, was sentenced to four years and four months in prison for selling prescriptions of controlled substances such as oxycodone and methadone.
According to court documents, between April 3, 2008, and October 30, 2012, Capos, who was then a licensed physician with a specialty in cardiology, knowingly and intentionally prescribed controlled substances without properly examining the patients and ignoring obvious signs that the patients were abusing or reselling the medications. He prescribed quantities far in excess of human tolerance and charged patients a “DEA Fee” of $100 per prescription, which is contrary to accepted medical practice. He is no longer licensed to practice medicine.
On May 5, 2016, Capos pleaded guilty to distribution and dispensation of oxycodone. According to the plea agreement, Capos prescribed 2,640 hydrocodone pills in one 28-day period for one patient meaning the patient would have taken 94 pills a day.
This case was investigated by
- Sacramento field office investigators of the Medical Board of California, who are now under the Health Quality Investigation Unit at the Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation.
- Special agents at the California Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.
- Agents at the Drug Enforcement Administration
“Undercover operations were conducted by investigators to expose this doctor’s illegal practice of prescribing powerful and addictive pain killers where they weren’t needed,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “These public safety professionals rarely have a spotlight shining on their duties or their cases, but they work daily to protect us and the communities in which we live, from harm.”
“By prescribing medications to patients he never physically examined in amounts clearly intended for abuse and resale, Capos injected potent and potentially lethal drugs into the community, putting lives at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Scott. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to doing its part to combat the nation’s opioid crisis by devoting resources to cases like this and working with our law enforcement partners to end the unlawful distribution of these dangerous drugs.”
To read more: A Sacramento Bee article - 'Hundreds of thousands of pills.' Opioid prescriptions send Granite Bay cardiologist to prison