A Floyd County doctor was sentenced in federal court to serve no further jail time, but pay a $10,000 fine and serve three years of supervised release in relation to a controlled substances distribution case.
The sentence was handed down on March 3, against Mohammed Mazumder, 44, of Lexington by U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, linked to a case in which Mazumder originally faced further charges regarding his conduct in practicing medicine at Appalachian Primary Care in Prestonsburg.
According to the plea agreement in the case, between July 2015 and March 2016, Mazumder signed blank prescriptions to be used by the clinic while he was not there, including during trips abroad. The blank prescriptions, the agreement said, would later be completed by clinic employees. As a result, the agreement said, Mazumder was responsible for conspiring to unlawfully distribute approximately 3.26 grams of oxycodone.
In a sentencing memorandum filed prior to the sentencing by Mazumder’s attorney, Andrew Sparks, Sparks argued that Mazumder did the wrong thing but without the criminal intent seen in “pill mill” cases.
Sparks wrote that Mazumder wrote the blank prescriptions when he traveled home to Bangladesh, India, to see family.
“Dr. Mazumder left the prescriptions, which were completed by his nurse practitioner, in order to prevent his patients from being inconvenienced and ensure they had their medication,” Sparks wrote. “Dr. Mazumder was directed to do this by the clinic owner, who the government has identified as uncharged co-conspirator 4.”
Mazumder’s motive, Sparks wrote, was not profit.
“Dr. Mazumder was not motivated by profit, because he did not own the clinic and was not paid any additional salary for writing the prescriptions. Nor was Dr. Mazumder running a ‘pill mill,’ Sparks wrote in the sentencing memorandum. “There are no allegations he was prescribing to individuals who were abusing or diverting the pills, or that he was ordering unnecessary tests or billing for unnecessary office visits to personally profit. Dr. Mazumder’s decision to write pre-signed prescriptions, while wrong, was motivated by his feelings of obligation to his patients and a misplaced sense of loyalty to the clinic owner.”
Sparks further pointed out that Mazumder may be able to practice medicine but will never be able to prescribe controlled substances again, even if he’s able to resume his medical practice.
According to Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure records, in April 2019, an emergency order of suspension was put in place against Mazumder, and earlier this year, he entered into an agreed order with the KBML restricting or limiting his license to practice in Kentucky for an indefinite time.
Mazumder’s actions at issue in the federal case, Sparks wrote, were not in line with his normal method of practice. “Dr. Mazumder’s decision to leave pre-signed prescriptions is out of character for how he practiced medicine,” Sparks wrote. “Indeed, Dr. Mazumder worked long hours at the clinic and rarely took days off. He took a personal interest in his patients and prided himself in improving their health. He did not set out to distribute drugs illegally, and he did not otherwise prescribe controlled substances in an inappropriate manner. Dr. Mazumder has practiced medicine ethically and has otherwise lived a law-abiding life.”