O.C. Physician Sentenced for Writing Illegal Prescriptions at Starbucks
An Orange County doctor who wrote bogus painkiller prescriptions for his addicted patients during “appointments” held at coffee shops was sentenced this week to more than 11 years in prison, authorities said.
Alvin Mingczech Yee, 44, pleaded guilty to seven counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance by a practitioner, and was sentenced to a 135 months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced in a news release Thursday.
Yee, a Mission Viejo physician, wrote prescriptions for “dangerous, addictive painkillers to ‘patients’ he barely examined,” officials said in the release.
Yee held meetings with clients at Starbucks stores across Orange County, where he would write authorizations for OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax “without a legitimate medical purpose,” federal attorneys said in a court document. One-third of his clients were 25 years old or younger.
Yee’s illegal prescriptions contributed to the deaths of two of his patients, according to the U.S. Probation Office, a sentencing memo stated.
“The defendant consciously disregarded … the consequences of improperly prescribing narcotic drugs for greed,” the court document read.
Yee was first arrested in October 2011 following a year-long investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.