A federal jury in Ohio convicted an Ohio physician on Friday for unlawfully distributing opioids from his Martin’s Ferry clinic, according to officials.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Thomas Romano, 72, of Wheeling, West Virginia, owned and operated a self-named pain management clinic where his clients traveled hundreds of miles to obtain prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances.

For his opioid and other controlled substance prescriptions, Romano only accepted cash—$750 for an initial prescription and $120 for subsequent monthly prescriptions.

The evidence offered at trial demonstrated that the prescriptions Romano issued for opioids and other controlled substances greatly exceeded recommended dosages and were in dangerous, life-threatening combinations which served to fuel the addiction of his clients.

According to evidence introduced at trial, between January 2015 and June 2019, Romano prescribed over 111,000 pills, including opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants, to nine of his clients.

Romano was convicted of 24 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose to these nine clients, officials stated.

He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each charge.

The DEA, FBI, and HHS-OIG, as well as the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation and Ohio Board of Pharmacy, investigated this case.

Acting Assistant Chief Andrew B. Barras and Trial Attorney Christopher Jason of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.