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Physician assistant at Fountain Valley clinic sentenced to 41 months in prison for illegal narcotics prescriptions

A physician assistant who worked at a Fountain Valley medical clinic was sentenced this week to more than three years in federal prison for writing prescriptions for narcotics without a medical purpose.

A federal jury in September found Kaitlyn Phuong Nguyen, 32, of San Jose guilty of 10 felony counts related to illegal distribution of oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam.

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On Monday, U.S. District Judge James Selna sentenced Nguyen to 41 months in prison and ordered her to pay a $12,500 fine. She is expected to begin serving her sentence by April 6, according to court records.

During Nguyen's trial, jurors heard evidence that four people died of drug overdoses after obtaining prescriptions from her, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Victor Boon Huat Siew of Laguna Beach, a former doctor who ran the Fountain Valley clinic, was sentenced in September to nearly six years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance by a practitioner.

Siew admitted to illegally prescribing oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam from his clinic from 2009 through 2015, prosecutors said.

Physician assistant Thanh Nha Pham of Fountain Valley, who also worked at the clinic, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and is scheduled to be sentenced March 12.

Prosecutors said Siew, Pham and Nguyen issued prescriptions without a medical purpose in exchange for cash and insurance payments, despite "red flags" in many of the patients' files that indicated they were abusing their pain medication.

Nguyen, who worked at the clinic for six months in 2012, performed "cursory examinations" on patients before prescribing the drugs, prosecutors said.

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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