LOS ANGELES – A Large Desert physician continues to be in federal custody right now after his arrest Wednesday on fees of illegally dispensing prescriptions for frequently-abused managed substances – including opioid-based mostly prescription drugs – throughout telemedicine classes with “patients” from throughout the United States.
Dr. Raphael Tomas Malikian, 36, who resides in Llano and Palmdale and known as his clinical apply Delighted Spouse and children Medication, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by unique agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
An indictment naming Malikian was unsealed at his arraignment Thursday evening, when Malikian entered not guilty pleas and a United States Justice of the peace Choose ordered him detained pending demo, which is at this time scheduled for Oct 5.
Malikian is charged in an 11-count indictment with illegally distributing narcotics “while performing and intending to act outside the typical program of skilled apply and devoid of a legitimate healthcare objective.” The controlled substances that Malikian allegedly dispersed are oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, promethazine and codeine.
The DEA investigation was prompted by various stories in February 2020 of suspicious prescriptions issued by Malikian. The indictment alleges specific incidents in which Malikian prescribed controlled substances without the need of a healthcare intent after seven telemedicine consultations – together with just one carried out entirely by means of text concept – commencing in April 2020 and continuing by July 2020. None of the consultations associated any actual physical examination or diagnostic checks, and the appointments lasted as minor as 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
A federal judge on Thursday unsealed look for warrants executed at Malikian’s residences in conjunction with his arrest. The affidavit in aid of the lookup warrants outlines the DEA’s investigation, which integrated many undercover operations in which brokers from the DEA and California DOJ posed as patients and gained the prescriptions that kind the foundation of the indictment. The DEA agent who authored the affidavit concluded that Malikian “effectively sells prescriptions for managed substances to clients upon request, and does so without the need of getting a patient’s health care history or conducting a actual physical examination.”
In accordance to the affidavit, an independent medical skilled reviewed the interactions between Malikian and the undercover brokers and “concluded that Malikian ‘did not extensively consider his patients’ in advance of prescribing ‘potent and likely lethal remedies,’ and experienced performed so ‘without any regard to what is required of conscientious physicians in the United States in advance of proceeding with managed prescription drugs.’”
A DEA investigator also reviewed client records preserved by Malikian, which confirmed that Malikian observed sufferers across the United States and that about 43 % of them shared typical addresses, electronic mail addresses, “caregivers” or mobile phone numbers with other clients. In accordance to the affidavit, a person of those people was a convicted narcotics trafficker and one more was stopped at Los Angeles Intercontinental Airport whilst carrying more than $19,000 in income and approximately 1,764 Hydrocodone and Alprazolam pills.
An indictment consists of allegations that a defendant has dedicated a criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed harmless right up until and unless verified responsible further than a acceptable question.
The fees alleged in the indictment have unique statutory optimum sentences. 7 of the counts allege the unlawful distribution of opioids, these as oxycodone, and those rates have a utmost achievable penalty of 20 decades in federal prison.
The DEA is conducting an ongoing investigation in this scenario. The California Division of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse presented sizeable assistance.
Assistant United States Attorney Marina A. Torres of the Intercontinental Narcotics, Funds Laundering, and Racketeering Area is prosecuting this circumstance.