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Date: 10-19-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. Samuel Mcgaha, M.D. and Frank McNiel, M.D.

Case Number: 3:19-cr-00170-TAV-DCP

Judge: Thomas A. Varlan

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knox County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Louis Manzo and Anne Svolto

Defendant's Attorney:

Call 888-354-4529 if you need help finding a drug distribution criminal defense lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee


Knoxville, TN - Two East Tennessee Doctors Plead Guilty to Opioid Offenses

Two Tennessee doctors each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

Samuel Mcgaha, M.D., of Sevierville, Tennessee, and Frank McNiel, M.D., of Knoxville, Tennessee, each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The charges stem from Mcgaha’s and McNiel’s roles in prescribing high doses of opioids with no medical legitimacy – McNiel from his home. From 2015 until March 2018, Mcgaha and McNiel prescribed 212,226 and 59,712 opioid pills, respectively. During this period, Mcgaha admittedly wrote opioid prescriptions that exceeded Centers for Disease Control guidelines and prescribed opioids even when patients tested positive for non-prescribed prescriptions and illicit substances. McNiel admittedly wrote opioid prescriptions without evaluating patients and without obtaining medical records that would have justified the prescription of opioids. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 26, 2020, before the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan.

The FBI, HHS-OIG, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in this case should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website for more information.


21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(c) - knowingly, intentionally, and without authority distribute and dispense a quantity of pills containing controlled substances, to include oxvcodone HCL

Outcome: Guilty

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