Sept. 1, 2021 — A Louisiana doctor, who refers to himself as a “former assassin,” was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly distributing more than 1.2 million doses of drugs illegally, according to the Department of Justice. The substances included oxycodone and morphine.
Adrian Dexter Talbot, MD, 55, of Slidell, Louisiana, was charged for his role in distributing Schedule II controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, and with maintaining a medical clinic for the purpose of illegally distributing controlled substances, the indictment says.
Because the opioid prescriptions were filled using patients’ health insurance, Talbot is also charged with defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana of more than $5.1 million.
When contacted for comment on the case via Twitter, Talbot or a representative responded with a link to his self-published book on Amazon. In his author bio, Talbot refers to himself as “a former assassin,” “retired military commander,” and “leader of the Medellin Cartel’s New York operations at the age of 16.” The Medellin Cartel was a notorious drug distribution empire.
Talbot is listed as the author of another book on Google Books that details his time as a ” teenage assassin” and leader of the cartel.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 444 residents of the Bayou State lost their lives due to an opioid-related drug overdose in 2018. During that year, the state’s health care providers wrote more than 79.4 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people, which puts the state in the top five in the United States in 2018, when the average U.S. rate was 51.4 prescriptions per 100 people.
Charged with one count each of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and maintaining drug-involved premises and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, Talbot is also charged with four counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances. He is scheduled for a federal court appearance on Sept. 10.
In addition to pre-signing prescriptions for individuals he didn’t meet or examine, federal officials allege Talbot hired another health care provider to similarly pre-sign prescriptions for people who weren’t examined at a medical practice in Slidell, where Talbot was employed. The DOJ says Talbot took a full-time job in Pineville, LA, and pre-signed prescriptions while no longer physically present at the Slidell clinic.
A speaking bio for Talbot indicates he worked as chief of medical services for the Alexandria VA Health Care System, located in Pineville.
According to the DOJ’s indictment, Talbot was aware that patients were filling the prescriptions that were provided outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. This is what triggered the DOJ’s fraudulent billing claim.
Talbot faces a maximum penalty of 10 years for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 20 years each for the other accounts, if convicted.
In February 2015, Talbot announced his candidacy for coroner for St. Tammany Parish, about an hour’s drive south of New Orleans, reportedThe Times Picayune. The seat was open because the previous coroner had resigned and ultimately pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge.
The Times Picayune reported at the time that Talbot was a Navy veteran, in addition to serving as medical director and a primary care physician at the Medical Care Center in Slidell. Among the services provided to his patients were evaluations and treatment for substance use and mental health disorders, according to a press release issued by Talbot’s campaign, the newspaper reported.
Talbot’s medical license was issued in 1999 and inactive as of 2017, per the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.
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