(STL.News) – A Dallas doctor has pleaded guilty to a felony for prescription drug diversion crimes perpetrated on elderly victims, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.
Dr. Edward Agura, 63 pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee H. Toliver on Tuesday for possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation or fraud.
“Elder abuse by anyone, particularly by health professionals, is deeply disturbing,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “Those who exploit the elderly and perpetrate crimes on our seniors will be held accountable for their criminal actions. Importantly, the Department of Justice recently observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and we reconfirmed our commitment to rooting out fraud that preys on the elderly.”
“Using one’s trusted status as a medical professional for unlawful acts cannot go unpunished,” stated Eduardo A. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of the D.E.A. Dallas Field Division. “The Dallas D.E.A. will always seek justice against those who take advantage of unsuspecting individuals, especially the elderly, to fuel their drug addiction through fraudulent means.”
Beginning in May 2016, Dr. Agura admitted to issuing prescriptions in the names of elderly victims without their knowledge or consent. The controlled substances were for his own personal use.
According to court documents, Dr. Agura issued fraudulent prescriptions for Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Triazolam, and Lorazepam were dispensed to himself at Dallas area pharmacies under the guise he was obtaining them for elderly patients.
To further perpetuate the fraud, Dr. Agura admitted to creating phony medical records in the names of the elderly victims. While Dr. Agura did personally know each victim, the victims were not patients and had not sought medical treatment for the prescriptions that he issued in their name. Dr. Agura admitted obtaining the unlawful prescriptions to utilize for his personal consumption.
Dr. Agur a faces up to four years in federal prison for the felony conviction. A sentencing date has been set for October 8th.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dallas Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Strittmatter Max is prosecuting the case.