El Cajon doctor sentenced for illegally prescribing painkillers, sometimes for sex

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A physician who pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to illegally prescribing hundreds of oxycodone and hydrocodone tablets to patients with no medical necessity — and in some instances in exchange for sex acts — was sentenced Monday.

Dr. Naga Raja Thota, 62, was sentenced to 30 months in prison Monday. Thota previously pleaded guilty to seven counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.

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The 62-year-old admitted in December that in some instances, he prescribed the drugs in the names of the brother and father of one of the patients in order to supply her with the painkillers. The brother and father had no legitimate medical purpose for the painkillers, and had no doctor-patient relationship with Thota.

"This defendant abused his power to prescribe and exploited the desperation of his opioid-addicted patients when abuse and overdose are at crisis levels," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. "We are going after doctors who are not worthy of a patient’s trust."

Thota’s arrest came at the conclusion of a several-year investigation, officials said. He is accused of prescribing the alleged victims, ranging in age from early 20s to early 30s, various narcotics, including hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone, and using his access to the narcotics a way to pressure them into sex acts.

Categories: Local San Diego News