DENVER — As part of what the U.S. Attorney’s Office called a “first-of-its-kind in a plea agreement,” a Golden doctor will forfeit his medical degree and license after admitting to distributing oxycodone to a patient who did not need it.
John Van Wu, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of distributing oxycodone in federal court on Tuesday, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A jury had previously convicted him of mail fraud and obstruction of justice – and the illegal prescriptions were a second part of that case, the release said.
According to the plea agreement, Wu admitted to giving a patient oxycodone under “false documentation that a fall down some stairs caused lower back pain so bad that the patient could ‘barely stand’ and was ‘moving around in his wheelchair,’” the release says.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said none of this was true. The patient never used or needed a wheelchair, the release says, and also never used oxycodone. That person ultimately received 462 30 mg oxycodone pills.
Oxycodone is an opioid prescription pain killer that medical professionals say has a high risk for addiction.
By both surrendering his medical license and degree, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wu has essentially been prevented from working as a doctor again.
According to previous reporting by the Denver Business Journal, Wu operated medical clinics in Lakewood and Denver between January 2011 and March 2015, and was accused of billing insurance companies for services he didn’t actually render.
Wu was taken back into custody after his court hearing on Tuesday, and is slated to be sentenced on Sept. 24.
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