A Pennsylvania man was sentenced today to three years in prison for his unlawful distribution of controlled substances.
According to court documents, Timothy F. Shawl, M.D., 62, of Garnet Valley, wrote prescriptions for controlled substances totaling approximately 20,811 oxycodone pills for certain patients without seeing, treating, or examining them. One patient overdosed and died on Jan. 7, 2019, just three days after Shawl last prescribed oxycodone for her despite not treating or examining her in at least five years. Shawl pleaded guilty to five counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances on Jan. 21, 2020.
“By prescribing controlled substances to patients without any medical oversight, the defendant violated his professional and moral obligation to his patients,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The defendant’s conduct had devastating consequences including to at least one patient who suffered an overdose and death as a result of the defendant’s prescriptions. The Department of Justice is committed to combating the opioid epidemic and that includes prosecuting the people who enable it.”
“The defendant in today’s case neglected his sworn responsibility to do no harm and recklessly contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The human consequences in these cases are tragic, and the FBI is devoted to investigating doctors who prescribe controlled substances without legitimate medical reason to do so. Rest assured, the FBI will work tirelessly with our partners to bring justice to victims and those who have tragically lost loved ones because of unlawful distribution.”
The FBI’s Philadelphia Division investigated the case, with assistance from Health Care Fraud Task Force officers from the Philadelphia Police Department and Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
Trial Attorney Debra Jaroslawicz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.