Calif. doctor gets 7-year sentence for drug scheme

AP News

10/5/2011 12:01:04 PM - AP News
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California doctor has been sentenced to seven years in prison for illegally selling tens of thousands of prescriptions for painkillers and sedatives to patients he never examined.Dr. Nazar Al Bussam was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles. He also was ordered to no longer practice medicine and forfeit roughly $450,000 in personal funds.The 72-year-old Downey physician pleaded guilty in July to 18 conspiracy and drug counts.Authorities say Al Bussam made more than $1 million a year by selling prescriptions for cash. Over two years, he wrote nearly 60,000 prescriptions for painkillers, codeine cough syrup and sedatives such as Xanax.The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that three patient deaths have been linked to Al Bussam.