Laguna Beach Doctor Given Prison Term

Times Staff Writer

A 60-year-old Laguna Beach physician accused of selling thousands of drug prescriptions to persons he never medically examined was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to 18 months in prison and fined $5,000.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Gadbois Jr. also imposed a special two-year period of parole on Dr. Albert Eugene Thill after he has served his prison term.

Thill had pleaded guilty Feb. 19 to charges of unlawfully distributing controlled substances in violation of the federal narcotics laws.

His indictment was the result of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that gathered evidence Thill was selling prescriptions for drugs such as Preludin, Ritalin, Talwin and Citra Forte without examining the individuals seeking the prescriptions.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Patricia Collins, who prosecuted the case, said that during the investigation an undercover Los Angeles Police Department officer posed as a patient and purchased a prescription from Thill without a medical examination being required.

Collins said that approximately 2,000 files were seized by DEA investigators from Thill's clinic in Laguna Beach. The files alone documented more than 2,500 illegal prescriptions written by him over a two-year period.

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