AP NEWS

Ex-Dona Ana County doctor gets prison for health care fraud

May 9, 2019

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A former doctor in Dona Ana County has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for health care fraud and unlawfully dispensing controlled substances.

Prosecutors say 66-year-old Pawankumar Jain pleaded guilty in the case in 2016.

In his plea agreement, Jain admitted he operated a high-volume “pain management” practice in Las Cruces for several years.

Jain says he frequently performed only cursory examinations of patients before prescribing narcotics to them.

Prosecutors say Jain wrote two methadone prescriptions for a patient in 2009 that weren’t for any legitimate medical purpose.

They say the patient died of respiratory depression two days after filling the second prescription for 270 tablets of 10 mg methadone.

The New Mexico Medical Board suspended Jain’s license in June 2012 and revoked his license six months later.