Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Doctor Faces Jail Time on Drug Conviction|
By Hector Gonzalez
June 17, 2015 -- A doctor who ran a pain clinic in Santa Monica faces three years in county jail at his scheduled sentencing in November after he pleaded no contest earlier this month to one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a District Attorney spokeswoman said.
Daniel Shin, who in March 2014 was ordered by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Robert Longoria to “cease and desist from the practice of medicine,” according to medical board records, originally faced 27 counts of filling fake prescriptions for Oxycodone.
But in a deal with prosecutors, Shin pleaded guilty to the single count August 5, said District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison. He would have faced up to nine years in local custody if he had been found guilty on all counts, Robison said.
Shin ran “an elaborate scheme” to fill fake prescriptions for Oxycodone using his office manager Thomas Mark Oseransky and employee Dyno Travato West as stand-ins for patients, Robison said .
She declined to comment on the scope of Shin's operation, but abuse of prescription drugs like Oxycodone and Oxycontin have leveled off since peaking in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released earlier this month..
Prescription narcotics, however, are increasingly being replaced by heroin as the drug of choice among users and addicts, since heroin is now cheaper to buy, the CDC reported.
Even so, police continue arresting physicians for illegally writing prescriptions for powerful addictive narcotics used to treat pain, according to published reports from around the country.
Two Delaware gynecologists, for example, were arrested August 14 for setting up a website, SilkRoad, that peddled illegal prescription drugs to customers around the world, philly.com reported.
Shin operated his former pain-care clinic on the second floor of a squarish medical office building at Wilshire Boulevard and Harvard Avenue. It is now closed.
Shin listed his specialties as pain medicine and anesthesiology on healthcare.com, a physician referral site that allows doctors to upload free profiles. He claimed to treat numerous conditions, including back and ankle injuries, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and “withdrawal delirium.”
Oseransky, who was scheduled to return to court September 17 for a pretrial hearing, faces up to four years and four months in local custody.
West, who has a prior residential burglary conviction, pleaded no contest to conspiracy and multiple counts of obtaining a controlled substance and was sentenced to 32 months in state prison, said Robison.
West was arrested in February of last year following an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department's Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force.
California Medical Board records show that in 2009 Shin was placed on probation by the board for two years after admitting to violating the state Business and Professions Code for failing to disclose a misdemeanor conviction.
Shin was disciplined again in 2012 for failing to complete a clinical training program. He was placed on five years probation.
However, among treatment-seeking individuals who use OxyContin, the drug is most frequently obtained from non-medical sources as part of a broader and longer-term pattern of multiple substance abuse, experts said.
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