Physician Gets Term for Illegal Sales of Drugs

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

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

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

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

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Atty. Patricia Collins, said that during the investigation, an undercover Los Angeles police officer posed as a patient and purchased a prescription from Thill without a medical examination.

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

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