Guilty On The Conspiracy To Distribute Controlled Substance
On February 6, 2018, Dr. Andres Mencia was arrested at his clinic on federal charges of Conspiracy to Dispense Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering. The Government alleges that Dr. Mencia and his medical assistants were prescribing high amounts of opioids and other addictive drugs. The Government alleges that Dr. Mencia was prescribing opioids and other drugs in exchange for cash payments.
The prosecution was the result of an undercover investigation involving agents posing as patients. The defense has argued in pleadings that Dr. Mencia is rarely seen on the surveillance video. The defense has also argued that the undercover recordings rarely include Dr. Mencia. The defense also argues that Dr. Mencia’s medical assistants were meeting with the patients and seen pocketing money on video. The medical assistants quickly pled guilty and will testify against Dr. Mencia.
As if defending a pill mill case is not hard enough, forty-six days before the scheduled trial, the Government filed its Fifth Superseding Indictment adding a charge of structuring to avoid reporting requirements. And just 13 calendar days before the trial the Government noticed seven experts for trial. The expert disclosures reveal that the Government will present evidence of overdose deaths, which seem extremely prejudicial. The defense promptly filed a motion to exclude the late disclosed experts, which was denied without prejudice today.
Given the additional charges and the money laundering counts, Dr. Mencia is facing over twenty years if convicted at trial.
Despite overwhelming odds, the trial is moving full steam ahead on Monday. Marcos Beaton of Black, Srebnick, Kornspan, and Stumpf is representing Dr. Mencia at the trial.
UPDATE – Dr. Mencia found not guilty on 9 out of 10 counts. The jury voted guilty on the charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The Miami Herald has the story here.