WASHINGTON – Ivan Lamont Robinson, 50, of Washington, D.C. a licensed nurse practitioner, was sentenced today to 135 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $108,000. Robinson was previously found guilty by a federal jury of 42 federal charges that he distributed oxycodone outside the legitimate scope of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, and two counts of money laundering.
The sentence was announced by Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Jarod A. Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); Christopher Dillard, Special Agent in Charge of the Mid-Atlantic Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
The trial took place in July and August of 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, before the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. According to the testimony and evidence at trial, Robinson ran a pain management clinic the 2000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. His practice received numerous complaints from pharmacists who suspected that he was operating a “pill mill” rather than a legitimate medical pain management practice. “Pill mill” is a shorthand terminology for a medical practice which begins selling prescriptions to customers, usually for cash.
Through his position as a nurse practitioner, under District of Columbia law, Robinson had authority to prescribe oxycodone to patients. Robinson sold prescriptions to customers in exchange for $370 in blank money orders. Customers came from outside the District of Columbia to purchase identical prescriptions, 60 tablets of 30 milligrams of oxycodone. During the trial, the government presented testimony from a medical expert who stated that Robinson provided no real medical treatment, and there was no medical basis to prescribe oxycodone. Further, the government’s evidence showed that Robinson deposited over $100,000 in money orders from customers during a four-month period in 2013.
“The opioid crisis that we are currently facing is further exacerbated by illegal pill-mill operations such as the one operated in this matter,” said Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. This is a serious public health issue in which the safety of the public must be addressed and dealt with appropriately. This prosecution illustrates our office’s continued commitment, along with that of our law enforcement partners, to combat opioid abuse and bring to justice those who commit crimes regarding this issue.”
“Tens of thousands of Americans die from opioid-related overdose every year, a public health crisis only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jarod A. Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Division Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “We will not stand for criminals such as this, who are exploiting our health care systems and fueling the overdoses crisis in our area. This case stands as an example of how the DEA and our law enforcement partners are working to put an end to such unscrupulous criminal behavior and keep our communities and the good people safe.”
“By illegally prescribing opioids, Ivan Lamont Robinson put greed over patient care,” said Christopher Dillard, Special Agent in Charge of the Mid-Atlantic Field Office for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. “Such reckless behavior not only endangers lives, it fuels addiction and erodes the healthcare system. DCIS and its investigative partners will continue to work tirelessly to protect our service members and society from unscrupulous practitioners who abuse their positions.”
“The illegal diversion of opioids and other controlled substances often leads to drug addiction and deaths and drains resources that could otherwise be used to provide legitimate healthcare services,” said Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In announcing the sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips, Special Agent in Charge Forget, Special Agent in Charge Dixon, Special Agent in Charge Dillard, and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the DEA’s Washington Field Office, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the invaluable assistance provided by the Arlington County (VA) Police Department and the Charles County (MD) Sheriff’s Office. Assistance was also provided by Assistant United States Attorneys Arvind K. Lal and Christopher Brown, who participated in the money laundering aspect of the case. Finally, they commended the work of Paralegal Specialists Rommel Pachoca and Kate Abrey, former Paralegal Specialist Jeannette Litz, Victim/Witness Assistance Unit Specialist Tonya Jones, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dineen A. Baker and John P. Dominguez, who prosecuted the case.