Feds targeting doctors for illegal opioid prescriptions

Federal prosecutors are scoring victories against doctors in the opioid crisis.

A Cincinnati physician convicted of illegally distributing oxycodone pills was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison. News outlets report 61-year-old Alan Arnold Godofsky also must pay a $500,000 fine.

Godofsky was convicted of illegally distributing drugs through the Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management clinic in Georgetown, Kentucky. Testimony showed he conducted only minimal exams before prescribing large quantities of pills. Clinic owner Ernest William Singleton also was convicted, and three other doctors pleaded guilty.

Meanwhile, Dr. John Pellegrini of Huntington, West Virginia, faces up to 20 years after pleading guilty to money laundering. Pellegrini worked at the Hope Clinic in Beckley, where prosecutors say he admitted getting bonuses after writing illegitimate prescriptions without patient exams.