An Orange County doctor was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for prescribing opioids and other drugs to people who did not medically need them.

Dr. Dzung Ahn Pham, 61, was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison on Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Tustin-based physician also was fined $35,000.

Pham, the owner of Irvine Village Urgent Care, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances after he “conspired with licensed pharmacist Jennifer Thaoyen Nguyen, 52, of Irvine, who operated the Irvine-based Bristol Pharmacy, to illegally distribute narcotics, including opioids,” the DOJ said. Nguyen also pleaded guilty in October and was sentenced to 33 months in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Pham prescribed drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, amphetamine salts and other drugs “outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, including to people he knew were drug addicts,” the release added.

While many pharmacies would not fill his prescriptions, Pham sent his patients to Nguyen, who would.

“Pham and Nguyen also took steps to attempt to conceal their criminal conspiracy by agreeing to have Pham write prescriptions for non-controlled substances to avoid red flags to the DEA and Nguyen’s wholesaler based on the amount of controlled substances Pham was prescribing and Nguyen was dispensing,” the DOJ said.

Pham’s scheme ran from 2013 to 2018 and involved 18 “patients” who were prescribed nearly 54,000 oxycodone pills, nearly 69,000 hydrocodone pills and more than 29,000 amphetamine salts, medications like Adderall that usually treat ADHD. He also collected cash and office fees for visits, including those in which he did not actually see a “patient.”

“[Pham], a licensed physician trusted by society and the patients that went to him, stopped treating patients and, plain and simple, became a drug dealer,” prosecutors argued in a memo. “He turned ‘patients’ into addicts and/or fueled the addictions of drug abusers.”