Former doctor sentenced on federal drug charges

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A former doctor in Blacksburg has been sentenced to prison on dozens of drug charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia says 44-year-old Frank Purpera, Jr. will spend 20 months in prison.

He was convicted in February of 2018 on nearly 70 federal drug charges for illegally obtaining 3,200 oxycodone pills.

Following a four day trial, he was convicted on 67 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, one count of omitting material information that is required to be kept, and one count of making a false statement.

Purpera must also pay a fine of $34,000 and $6,800 in a special assessment.

Evidence presented during the trial showed he obtained the thousands of oxycodone pills but had no record of what happened to the pills.

Purpera told investigators the pills had been used for procedures on his patients, but this was proven to be untrue by the evidence presented in court.

He then later told the Department of Health Professions that he had given all of the pills to his wife, which would be outside the scope of his practice to dispense such pills, making giving them to his wife an illegal act.

Purpera also tampered with witnesses, according to evidence presented in trial.

He told two of his employees to say “I don't recall” if they were questioned by the government, including showing the employees a clip from the movie “The Wolf of Walk Street” during which a witness made that statement.



 
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