Physician arrange ‘pill mill’ to promote opioids subsequent to highschool: Feds


The college needed to restrict outside exercise as a consequence of concern concerning the clinic’s security, federal authorities stated. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)


A physician who ran a clinic in North Carolina was sentenced to 78 months in jail after pleading responsible to distributing opioids to sufferers for money, federal authorities stated.

The enterprise in Columbus County drew folks from throughout the state and elsewhere and was proper subsequent to an elementary college, federal authorities stated.

John Whan Kim, 75, had labored as a physician in North Carolina since 2002, in accordance with a prison criticism. He was employed with a medical facility till 2017, when he was suggested to resign after an analysis of his documentation and “prescribing patterns of controlled substances,” the criticism stated.

Months after he resigned, Kim opened his personal clinic in Tabor City, in accordance with a information launch from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

Kim’s clinic quickly turned a “pill mill,” prosecutors stated within the launch.

“Kim unlawfully and improperly prescribed opioids and other controlled substances to ‘patients’ who paid $200 cash at each appointment,” the discharge stated.

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office discovered of the clinic and decided in early 2018 that Kim was writing prescriptions “for no legitimate medical purpose.” Authorities later labored with a confidential supply to proceed their investigation into Kim’s apply. The physician was accused of promoting the supply oxycodone, OxyContin and Alprazolam for $200 in money in June 2018, in accordance with court docket paperwork.

Federal authorities say that he gave the supply further opioids for the individual’s father, regardless of having by no means met the daddy, the criticism stated.

“Kim wrote controlled substance prescriptions to virtually every patient he saw, often despite not having a patient’s prior medical records, not conducting a real physical examination or considering alternative treatments, and often despite having evidence of patient misuse and diversion,” prosecutors stated within the launch.

The clinic was subsequent to an elementary college, in accordance with the sentencing memorandum, which pressured the college to “restrict outdoor activity due to safety concerns stemming from the adjacent clinic.”

Following the Columbus County Sheriff’s investigation, authorities executed a search warrant on Kim’s clinic and his house, in accordance with the discharge. Officials discovered “no evidence that Kim was providing real medical care.”

Kim pleaded responsible to conspiracy to unlawfully distribute a amount of oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and marijuana in December, in accordance with prosecutors. His coworker within the clinic, Tammy Thomson, was charged with violating federal drug trafficking legal guidelines and pleaded responsible to a number of counts, the discharge stated.

“The defendant abused his position as a doctor to illegally distribute opioids, jeopardizing the safety of the community and the school adjacent to his office,” Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, stated within the launch.

Kim was required to surrender his medical license and is banned from practising medication once more, in accordance with federal authorities.

McClatchy News reached out to Kim’s legal professional for remark and didn’t obtain a direct response.

Tabor City is about 145 miles south of Raleigh.

If you or a cherished one exhibits indicators of substance use dysfunction, you’ll be able to search assist by calling the nationwide hotline at 1-800-662-4357 or discover therapy utilizing SAMHSA’s on-line locator.

Alison Cutler is a National Real Time Reporter for the Southeast at McClatchy. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and beforehand labored for The News Leader in Staunton, VA, a department of USAToday.

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