- Associated Press - Thursday, October 3, 2019

VIRIGNIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia dentist has been sentenced to eight years in prison for running a scheme to prescribe opioids for himself, fellow doctors and other individuals who didn’t medically need them.

News outlets report Virginia Beach dentist Gary Hartman surrendered his license and was convicted of conspiracy to distribute pills without a medical purpose on Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Virginia cited court documents that showed Hartman paid out friends and colleagues and even told poor patients he’d perform free dental work on them if they filled falsified prescriptions. One friend said Hartman extorted him into participating in the scheme. Court documents say that Hartman wrote over 1,000 prescriptions for more than 75,000 pills for people he never saw as patients.

Pharmacists tipped off authorities about the suspicious activity.

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