Ex-RI surgeon, technician admit pill conspiracy
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A former orthopedic surgeon from Boston and a technician who worked at Rhode Island Hospital have pleaded guilty to charges they conspired to give fake prescriptions to fellow hospital employees in exchange for a share of the drugs.
Robert Villarreal (Vihl-ah-REE-ahl), a 33-year-old doctor, and 49-year-old Gary Menissian of East Providence, pleaded guilty and were sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence.
Villareal admitted he wrote prescriptions for dextroamphetamine, hydrocodone and oxycodone and also forged prescriptions in the name of other doctors. He was sentenced to six months in prison and four years supervised release.
Menissian acknowledged he acted as a middleman by giving out the prescriptions. He was sentenced to three years supervised release.
Prosecutors say 29,000 pills were distributed in the scheme between June and August 2011.