Washington, May 29 (MNN) A federal jury has convicted a West Virginia doctor for prescribing a buprenorphine product in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, the Justice Department said.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Sriramloo Kesari, MD, 78, of Charleston distributed the drug Suboxone outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.
Kesari, who was at times physically located in California, operated a cash-only operation whereby he would sign prescriptions that his employee would distribute in exchange for cash payments.
The Department said although Suboxone was approved as a drug for treating opioid addiction, Kesari provided no meaningful addiction treatment and instead, prescribed Suboxone to an undercover DEA agent who was demonstrating clear signs that the Suboxone was being diverted or sold on the street.
Kesari is scheduled to be sentenced on August 25, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case.