Monroe doctor sentenced over drug, health care fraud

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

A Monroe doctor was sentenced to 57 months in prison on Tuesday on drug and health care fraud charges.

Dr. Oscar Linares, 59, was convicted of unlawfully distributing prescription drugs, including OxyContin, and health care fraud.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts sentenced Linares and called the case “a serious breach of the public trust” and “deliberate drug dealing by a doctor,” according to federal prosecutors.

Following his release from federal prison, Linares will serve three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.

“This doctor will spend nearly five years in prison for running a pill mill and fueling the prescription drug addiction epidemic,” McQuade said. “Doctors who poison our community by pushing pain pills for profit will be treated as criminals and held accountable."

Prosecutors said Linares operated the Monroe Pain Center on LaPlaisance. Between April 1, 2008, and March 2011, he prescribed millions of dosage units of Schedule II, III and IV narcotics, including opiates such as OxyContin, oxycodone and Opana.

Linares admitted to illegally prescribing more 1.2 million dosage units of controlled substances and fraudulently billing Medicare, submitting patients to medical tests without regard to their symptoms or medical conditions, McQuade said.

Linares prescribed controlled substances for as many as 250 patients per day, paying bonuses to his employees when the number of patients in a single day exceeded 200, according to court records.

As part of the case, Linares forfeited about $236,000 seized from bank accounts; jewelry, such as Tiffany, Mont Blanc, Rolex and Invicta watches; luxury vehicles, including a 2005 Bentley Continental, two Hummers, a 2005 Porsche 911, a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, a 2007 Lincoln Town Car and a 2006 Lexus RX400; two boats; and Louis Vuitton luggage and accessories.

JChambers@detroitnews.com