April 5, 2019

Milford doctor gets long sentence for drug distribution causing death


SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Fuhai Li, 54, of Milford, was sentenced to 330 months in prison followed by six years supervised release on April 3, 2019, by United States District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo for unlawfully prescribing oxycodone and other opioids to 23 former patients, including a Honesdale woman who died as a result of using the pills. 

Li was convicted by a jury on June 5, 2018 for drug distribution resulting in death, money laundering and tax evasion. 

During the five-week trial, prosecutors from presented the testimony of 19 former patients and three former employees of Li, eight pharmacists, three other physicians, an expert on pain management, the medical records for 39 former patients of Li, and the testimony of federal law enforcement agents and investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and its Diversion Division, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) special agents.

Li owned and operated the Neurology and Pain Management Center in Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania.  He was a physician licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and authorized to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances for legitimate medical purposes and in the usual course of professional practice.

Li repeatedly prescribed oxycodone and other opioids outside the usual course of medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

Li was also convicted of tax evasion for the tax years 2011, 2012, and 2013. An IRS agent testified that Li underreported his taxable income for those years by more than $800,000.

The jury’s verdict also included the forfeiture to the United States of $1,030,960 in cash that was seized from Li’s two residences; $1,036,079.36 seized from various bank accounts; real property located at 200 3rd Street, Milford (Li’s medical office); and real property located at 4005 Milford Landing Drive, Milford.  Judge Caputo signed a Preliminary Order of Forfeiture for these identified assets at the sentencing. 

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