LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas physician pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal drug conspiracy charges for writing prescriptions for oxycodone for individuals he did not see or treat, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.
Dr. Victor Bruce, 49, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Bruce, who is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
“We will continue to identify and prosecute these bad doctors who are using their medical licenses to illegally deal drugs,” Bogden said. “We will also recommend the imposition of lengthy sentences of imprisonment because these doctors are using their medical licenses and special skills to commit these drug crimes, fully knowing the harmful impact and effects of these addictive painkillers. This was simply a money making sham, and none of the prescriptions were being issued for a legitimate medical purpose or in the usual course of professional practice.”
According to the plea agreement, Bruce operates a medical practice known as Swan Lake Medical Center at 3330 South Hualapai Way. Bruce represents himself to be a pain management specialist and is the only physician working at the practice.
Beginning at a date unknown and continuing to November, Bruce and co-conspirators, including Robert Wolfe, Millicent Epino, Dylan DuBois, Jennifer Monge, and Jade Lepoma, conspired to distribute oxycodone. Wolfe allegedly provided Bruce a list of names, and Bruce would write prescriptions for oxycodone for those individuals. Bruce also created “dummy” medical records for those individuals to make it appear as though a legitimate patient encounter had taken place.
On four occasions in June 2013, an undercover law enforcement officer allegedly purchased oxycodone prescriptions from Wolfe for $700 each that were written by Bruce. The undercover officer allegedly provided Wolfe or another co-conspirator with copies of Nevada driver’s licenses bearing the names of customers. Usually within a day, Wolfe or another co-conspirator allegedly would then provide the undercover officer with written prescriptions for oxycodone.
Bruce knew he was writing prescriptions for controlled substances to customers he did not treat and who did not need the prescriptions.
Wolfe and other co-conspirators are also charged in the drug conspiracy. Their cases are currently pending.
This case was investigated by the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Pharm-Net Task Force, whose members include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service--Criminal Investigation, Metro Police, Henderson Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department, and the Nevada Division of Investigations, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Crane M. Pomerantz and Cristina D. S