Continued from page 1

_ Failing to provide a record that Rovero gave informed consent to be treated with controlled substances.

Prosecutors list a similar litany of failures in the cases of Nguyen and Ogle.

Tseng is charged with 21 other felony counts, including four involving undercover DEA agents, alleging she prescribed drugs using fraud and without a legitimate purpose.

District Attorney Steve Cooley said when he announced the charges in a written statement that the case highlights the problem of patients who “die while the doctor gets rich.”

Tseng and her husband, also a doctor, opened a storefront medical office in 2005 in the Los Angeles suburb of Rowland Heights. She came under scrutiny by the California Medical Board and the DEA in 2008 after a pharmacy reported problems with her prescriptions.

Tseng wrote more than 27,000 prescriptions over a three-year period starting in January 2007 _ an average of 25 a day, according to a DEA affidavit.

The DEA suspended her license to write prescriptions in 2010 and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California said Tseng voluntarily surrendered her medical license. Her husband continues to run their clinic.

Tseng’s attorneys did not reply to phone messages seeking comment on Thursday, but in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times she said she was “really strict” with her patients and followed legal guidelines.

“If my patient decides to take a month’s supply in a day, then there’s nothing I can do about that,” she said.

Tseng’s statements were consistent with the most common defense on the rare occasions that doctors are charged with murder for prescriptions.

Attorney Ellyn Garafalo, who has defended doctors in overprescribing cases, said “a doctor can’t control what a patient does with the drugs. A doctor can’t be a policeman. The doctor has some deniability.”

Garafalo noted that prosecutors charged Michael Jackson’s doctor with involuntary manslaughter instead of murder in the pop star’s death from a drug overdose.