Sometimes, it seems as if the stories that come out about health care fraud in our country just keep getting crazier. Some of them – the really bad ones – include more than just defrauding our nation’s health insurance programs. They involve threats of violence or worse, violence itself. And, of course, the absolute worst stories include the deaths of innocent people. Enter Dr. Shannon Christopher Ceasar.
We’re thankful to report that the story of this 44 year-old Louisiana-based physician doesn’t involve any deaths. But it certainly could have. As reported last week by the Eastern District of Louisiana branch of the Department of Justice, Ceasar has “pled guilty to threatening to assault or murder federal law enforcement officers with the intent to impede, intimidate or interfere with such officers while they were engaged in the performance of their official duties, or with the intent to retaliate.”
But, as you’ve likely guessed, that certainly wasn’t the only charge that Ceasar was guilty of. After all, there must have been a reason that he had federal law enforcement officers attempting to bring him to justice. The Metairie-based doctor was also guilty of operating a “pill mill”. Simply put, he was a drug dealer.
A “pill mill”, as defined in the Department of Justice’s report, is “an operation in which he prescribed controlled substances to drug seekers and drug abusers without a legitimate medical purpose and in exchange for a flat fee.” Included in the drugs being dispensed illegally by Ceasar was Oxycodone.
Officially, this made the former co-owner and operator of Gulf South Physician’s Group guilty of “conspiracy to distribute and dispense, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, quantities of Oxycodone, a Schedule II drug controlled substance.” And, as if this wasn’t all bad enough, Ceasar also pled guilty to committing and attempting to commit health care fraud.
“In total, because of Ceasar’s knowing and fraudulent issuance of prescriptions for Schedule II, III, and IV narcotics that he knew were medically unnecessary, health care benefit programs lost approximately $150,000,” says the report, which also details the multiple death threats he made to federal law enforcement officers while under investigation in July of 2016.
Sentencing is scheduled for this July. The maximum penalty Ceasar faces for the drug conspiracy charge is 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000 and at least three years of supervised release following the prison sentence. For the death threat and health care fraud charges, Ceasar faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and at least three years of supervised release following imprisonment. Potentially, he could be put away for 30 years – here’s hoping.
Arguably, the case of Shannon Christopher Ceasar is one of the worst we’ve come across. Combining a total disregard for both public safety and his oath as a medical professional makes his illegal actions reprehensible enough. However, his penchant for violence and his willingness to murder make this particular health care fraud case beyond unsettling. We’re glad he’ll be behind bars and unable to wreak such havoc on society any further.
At Allegiant Experts, we’d like to see such dangerous fraudsters continually face justice. Our team of clinical experts is committed to helping attorneys who require assistance in their health care fraud cases. We’ve been providing expert clinical services for over 15 years. For more information about how our medical expertise can be of assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.