HomeFlorida NewsSuspended physician unlawfully prescribed controlled substances, sentenced to prison for PPP and...

Suspended physician unlawfully prescribed controlled substances, sentenced to prison for PPP and drug fraud


Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell has handed down a sentence to Tommy Louisville, a 71-year-old former physician from Pembroke Pines, marking a significant step in the ongoing efforts to combat pandemic-related fraud and illegal drug distribution. Louisville received a sentence of one year and one day in federal prison for charges including unlawful drug distribution, making false statements relating to health care matters, and committing fraud under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Additionally, he has been ordered to pay restitution totaling over $43,000 to both the Small Business Administration and Medicare.

A Pattern of Illicit Activities

According to court documents, Louisville, who was once a Florida-licensed physician and registrant with the Drug Enforcement Administration, found himself in legal trouble after continuing to issue prescriptions for controlled substances following the suspension of his medical license by the Florida Board of Medicine in May 2019. This suspension effectively prohibited him from lawfully prescribing controlled substances. Despite this, Louisville not only issued these prescriptions but also concealed his ineligibility from Medicare, submitting claims for payment for these unlawfully issued prescriptions until he closed his medical business in November 2019.

The deceit didn’t end with the misuse of his prescribing powers. Between April and May 2020, Louisville fraudulently obtained a PPP loan amounting to $33,034 by leveraging his already closed business. His application was filled with false statements, including claims of an ongoing medical operation, the employment of six workers, and the intended use of funds for business-related expenses, all of which were fabrications designed to exploit the financial support mechanisms put in place to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enforcement and Prevention Efforts

This case highlights the Justice Department’s commitment to cracking down on both pandemic-related fraud and illegal drug distribution. In May 2021, the Attorney General announced the formation of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force. This initiative aims to enhance the capabilities of the Department of Justice, in collaboration with various government agencies, to tackle pandemic-related fraud more effectively. By combining resources, the task force strives to investigate and prosecute those responsible for such crimes while also working to prevent fraud in relief programs.

The investigation into Louisville’s activities was a cooperative effort involving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tampa District Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Greg Pizzo led the prosecution, underscoring the federal government’s dedication to upholding the law and protecting public resources.

As the battle against COVID-19 fraud continues, authorities encourage anyone with information about attempted fraud related to the pandemic to report it. This case serves as a reminder of the legal and ethical responsibilities that come with the practice of medicine and the management of public health resources, especially during times of crisis.

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