BUFFALO, N.Y. — As jury selection was set to begin in his trial, Dr. Eugene Gosy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and one count of healthcare fraud.
Gosy faced 75 counts stemming from accusations that he unlawfully distributed painkillers. Some of the most serious charges allege that the way he distributed powerful and addictive substances led to the deaths of half a dozen patients.
Dr. Gosy admitted, among other things, that he knowingly continued prescribing powerful and addictive medications despite indications that some patients were hooked, and in some cases ignoring the pleas of family members to stop prescribing to their loved ones. He admitted that in some instances, medications continued to be prescribed to those who he knew were abusing them, and without examining patients whose prescriptions were continually refilled and that those prescriptions were authorized by people without formal medical training.
Long and Involved Case
It's been nearly four years since Dr. Gosy was indicted, in April 2016.
When he was first charged, prosecutors say Gosy allegedly orchestrated a conspiracy, along with employees at his pain clinic, to provide more prescriptions for controlled substances than any facility in the entire state, including hospitals.
Following the original indictment, Dr. Gosy had been facing 166 counts, but the court dismissed 91 counts a few weeks ago, at the request of federal prosecutors.
Although Gosy could have faced up to 30 years in prison, the recommended sentence for his plea will be 6-1/2 years. He will be sentenced on May 21. He also has to pay $344,000 in restitution to victims, primarily the state insurance fund according to his lawyer Joel Daniels.
Daniels told reporters that while he was fully prepared to defend Dr. Gosy, the risks for his client upon conviction at trial were too great compared to the sentence promise arrived at through his plea.
None of the counts Gosy plead guilty to involve the deaths of any patients.
Daniels noted that, had he gone to trial and been convicted on any one of those counts, it could have potentially resulted in a lifetime sentence for the 59 year old physician.
Interestingly, the plea bargain did not involve Gosy surrendering his medical licence, although he had already been stripped of his DEA certificate, which means that while he can still practice medicine, he cannot prescribe drugs.
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