What Physicians and Pharmacies Need to Know About Drug Diversion and Opioid Investigations - Medicare RAC Audits & Appeals Services
WSJ logo
Forbes logo
Fox News logo
Bloomberg logo
Los Angeles Times logo
Washington Post logo
The Epoch Times logo
CNN logo
Telemundo logo
New York Times
NY Post logo
NBC logo
Daily Beast logo
USA Today logo
Miami Herald logo
CNBC logo
Dallas News logo
Quick Practice Area Locator

What Physicians and Pharmacies Need to Know About Drug Diversion and Opioid Investigations


Effective License Protection and DEA Criminal Defense

Physicians call attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden to find out if their practice is safe or whether they may be under the government’s radar. The concerns are real in light of the many reports of physicians charged with criminal violations of the Control Substances Act for administering medically unnecessary pain medications.

Indeed, practice of pain management has radically changed since the federal government publicly declared to target pain medicine prescribing physicians and pharmacies in its war against opioids in late 2017. More than 100 physicians have been charged with federal felonies, the DEA and the FBI have raided medical practices, and many pharmacy owners have seen federal agents close their businesses.

Attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden has protected countless physicians and pharmacies against DEA audits and investigations involving drug diversion and alleged narcotics prescription fraud. From having saved many medical providers from criminal charges, civil liabilities, and license revocations, Nick offers true advice based on real life experience gained in hundreds of healthcare fraud cases.

As much as Nick has avoided criminal charges in pending investigations, Nick has advised pain management specialists, family doctors, internal medicine doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, and pharmacies across the country of how not to get on the governments radar in the first place when it comes to controlled substances. If you would like to request a free compliance analysis or a free and confidential consultation about a pending case, please call Nick directly at 888-680-1745.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

The Government Claims that Many Pain Prescriptions Are Medically Unnecessary and Thus Illegal

In essence, the government claims that too many physicians prescribe opioids without a sound medical foundation and thus operate a “pill mill.” From indicted cases and from being on the forefront of having avoided jail time and criminal charges for medical providers and pharmacies, attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden knows that the government’s case comes down to FIVE key observations.

  • The medications are medically unnecessary.
  • The medications come in excessive amounts.
  • Many “cash” patients sell prescriptions and cause diversion.
  • Physicians neglect patient examinations and referrals to counselors.
  • The pain practice falls outside the accepted standards of medicine.

The determinations that prescriptions fall outside the scope of accepted medicine and are medically unnecessary are typically made by government medical experts, who view subpoenaed or seized patient charts on behalf of the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Examples of excessive amounts include:

  • Percocet 10/325 mg, 120 pills
  • Oxycodone 15 mg, 60 pills
  • OxyContin 15 mg, 60 pills
  • Oxycodone 30 mg, 60 pills
  • Zanaflex 4mg, 90 pills

Unfortunately, it is not enough to just change and update prescription policies. The government’s look back period in DEA pain medicine investigations is typically five years and involve patient files and prescription policies from during this time. If you have regularly prescribed Schedule I, Schedule II, or Schedule III controlled substances, you should request a free and confidential practice analysis by renowned attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden and his team.

These Are the Penalties for Opioid Fraud and Drug Diversion
Drug diversion and medically unnecessary opioid prescriptions are regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act at 21 U.S.C. 841 and the general federal healthcare fraud statute at 18 U.S.C. 1347. According to 21 U.S.C. 841, anyone unlawfully distributing or dispensing a controlled substance (e.g. here Schedule III prescription drugs) can be sentenced as follows:

Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 for each count of unlawfully dispensing Schedule III controlled substances and a maximum sentence of 10 years incarceration and a fine of $ 1 million for each count charging a conspiracy to unlawfully dispensing a Schedule III controlled substance under 21 U.S.C. 846; and a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $ 250,000 for each count alleging healthcare fraud under 18 U.S.C. 1347.

Don’t let happen to you what has happened to so many other physicians, who waited and hesitated to engage experienced counsel while they had a chance and opportunity to turn their case around without being charged or disbarred. Call or contact Nick today. It’s free. It’s confidential. It’s personal. No secretaries. No paralegals. No junior lawyers. Call 888-680-1745.

Nick Has Helped Many Physicians, Nurses, and Pharmacies Protect Their License: Let Him Do the Same For You.

  • Patient Complaint. Representation of a pain management physician against a patient complaint for the overdosed death of a relative resulting in a medical board investigation. Nick conducted an internal investigation and random chart review of more than 200 files with a former DEA agent serving as a consultant in an effort to examine the physician’s office policies and opioid protocols. Where needed, Nick added and boosted current policies and compliance materials relating to narcotics prescription policies, updated the compliance training materials, and introduced a stronger emphasis on inter-disciplinary procedures such as physical therapy, toxicology testing, radiology services, and psychological counseling. The documentation and the compliance efforts convinced the board that the practice did not pose a threat to the public and did not cause or contribute to the death of the patient leading to the Board formally closing the case.
  • Drug Diversion. Representation of various pharmacies under investigation by DEA drug diversion investigators. All representations had in common that the DEA showed up with administrative search warrants and began a review of approximately 100 charts per pharmacy location. Because some charts were missing copies of signed prescriptions and were lacking other formalities, the investigators went on for a full pill count and review of the compounding process at some of these pharmacies. To stop this massive business interruption, Nick, who attended each warrant, reached out to DEA supervisors asking for departure of the agents and an opportunity to self-cure potential shortcomings. Although the DEA investigators threatened, if not announced, a revocation of the pharmacies’ DEA privileges, Nick advised against a requested voluntary surrender of the respective DEA licenses, helped the pharmacies to conduct an internal audit, and ultimately presented an error rate of less than 2% to the DEA.
  • DEA Criminal Cases. In terms of criminal cases, Nick has avoided criminal charges against pharmacies and physicians and some of the toughest of all cases; including those cases, in which the DEA had evidence of drug related overdoses of patients in the care of Nick’s clients. If you find yourself under DEA investigation, you should visit with Nick to get his opinion and to see what recourse is best to defeat the case and to avoid criminal prosecution.

Nick Oberheiden

Call 888-680-1745 for a Free & Confidential DEA Defense Consultation

Dr. Nick Oberheiden only takes federal cases and he has represented pharmacies and providers throughout the nation, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington D.C, Virginia, West Virginia, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

Why Clients Trust Oberheiden P.C.

  • 95% Success Rate
  • 2,000+ Cases Won
  • Available Nights & Weekends
  • Experienced Trial Attorneys
  • Former Department of Justice Trial Attorneys
  • Former Federal Prosecutors, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Former Agents from FBI, OIG, DEA
  • Cases Handled in 48 States
Email Us 888-680-1745