Georgia Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Contributing to Opioid Crisis
A doctor in Georgia, who has been described as one of the “worst offenders in the opioid crisis” by his local community, has been sentenced to 20 years in detention for over-prescription of opioids and health care fraud.
Dr. Frank H. Bynes, Jr, 69, of Savannah, Georgia, was found guilty in October last year by a federal jury. He was convicted of 13 offences relating to the unlawful dispensing of controlled substances and 3 counts of health care fraud.
The Doctor was Accused of Prescribing Five Million Doses of Controlled Substances in Only Three Years
According to the court, Dr. Bynes was said to have made a significant contribution to the state’s opioid crisis by writing prescriptions amounting to almost five million doses of controlled substances. The prescriptions were written during a three-year period in which the physician worked at the MBA Community Clinic in Savannah and Georgia Laboratory Diagnostics in Garden City.
The prosecution showed evidence that Dr. Bynes repeatedly prescribed a combination of drugs that have become known as “the holy trinity” – opioids, alprazolam, and Soma. In total, he prescribed four million pills, patches, and other controlled substances; some of which for people whom he was well aware already had suffered an overdose.
In addition to over-prescription of controlled substances, Dr. Bynes engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with female patients; which included collecting pictures of them on his phone and email accounts. Bynes falsely claimed that he worked for the Department of Justice and presented fake law enforcement credentials to his victims.
Dr Bynes was also Sentenced for Three Counts of Health Care Fraud Totaling $2 Million
It is estimated that Bynes defrauded Tricare, Medicaid, and Medicare to the tune of $2 million via false pharmacy claims. In addition to his two decade custodial sentence, Bynes was ordered to repay $615,145 in restitution.
The sentencing judge – Judge Lisa Godbey Wood – recommended that Bynes serve his sentence in a federal facility in either Jesup or Estill so that he can be close to his family.
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