Cabell County doctor gets 2 years for violating drug law - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Cabell County doctor sentenced to 2 years for violating drug laws

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A Cabell County doctor was sentenced Jan. 7 to 24 months for violating federal drug laws.

According to court documents, Anita Dawson, 55, of Milton, was charged with aiding and abetting another in obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery and subterfuge.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office, Dawson admitted that from July 2006 until May 2009 she prescribed a total of nearly 6,000 pills containing oxycodone and more than 220 pills for the painkiller Endocet.

She wrote these prescriptions to an individual identified as E.B. knowing the patient was seeking medication for an addiction, the news release continues.

The West Virginia Board of Osteopathy suspended Dawson's medical license in April 2010, the same day federal and state investigators executed a search warrant at her Milton office.

The board alleges Dawson caused or contributed to nine drug overdose deaths, as well as an April 2009 car crash that killed a Barboursville woman and two teenage girls.

Family members of the three killed in that car crash spoke at the Jan. 4 hearing. One of Dawson's patients, who was addicted to prescription drugs, was driving one of the cars involved in the crash. This patient was under the influence of prescription medication at the time of the crash, the news release states.

"It's hard to put into words the devastating impact of this defendant's crimes," said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in the release. "My heart goes out to the families who spoke at today's hearing and to everyone who lost a loved one because of Dr. Dawson. Judge Chambers was right: This woman's behavior is shocking, and this case should send a message to other doctors who abuse their prescription power."

Following the search and suspension of her medical license, Dawson voluntarily gave up her license permanently, the news release stated.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers ordered Dawson to be housed at the Federal Correction Institute in Alderson.

In addition to her two-year sentence, Dawson also will serve a one-year term of supervised release.

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