Abingdon, VIRGINIA – A psychiatrist, whose practice is based in Lebanon, Virginia, faces 25 federal drug trafficking and healthcare fraud charges following the return of an indictment by a federal grand jury in Abingdon. United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon made the announcement.
Alfredo Cervantes, 61, of Abingdon, Va., is charged in an indictment returned last week following his arrest on 23 counts of unlawfully distributing a Schedule IV controlled substance, one count of healthcare fraud and one count of wire fraud.
The Indictment alleges that Cervantes, a psychiatrist who provides treatment on an outpatient basis, engaged in sexual relations with one of his patients while prescribing her with Schedule IV controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose. The substances included Alprazolam (commonly referred to by the brand name Xanax), Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin), and Zolipidem Tartrate (brand name Ambien). The Indictment further alleges that Cervantes caused health insurance providers, including Virginia Medicaid, to pay for unnecessary psychotherapy treatments and prescription drugs.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Virginia Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Lebanon Police Department, and the Virginia Department of Health Professions – Enforcement Division. Janine Myatt, Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney is prosecuting the case for the United States.
A Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.