Doctor in War Machine trial charged with federal health care fraud

Updated February 13, 2018 - 8:52 pm

A Las Vegas pain-management doctor was arrested Tuesday on dozens of federal charges of health care fraud and illegal distribution of the drug fentanyl, according to the Department of Justice.

Dr. Steven A. Holper, 66, faces seven counts of unlawful distribution of fentanyl and 22 counts of providing a false statement relating to a health benefit program.

“Our great country has never before seen the levels of addiction and overdose deaths that we are suffering today,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a news release. “Sadly, some trusted medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists have chosen to violate their oaths and exploit this crisis for cash — with devastating consequences.”

Authorities said that from November 2013 to March 2017, Holper “knowingly made false statements to Medicare and private health insurance companies,” prescribing a cancer pain management form of fentanyl known as Subsys for patients without the disease.

Holper faces up to 20 years behind bars for distribution of a controlled substance and 10 years in prison for health care fraud.

Holper testified last year for defense attorneys during a sexual assault and kidnapping trial of former mixed martial artist Jonathan Koppenhaver, also known as War Machine, who was convicted and sentenced to 36 years to life.

Contact David Ferrara at or 702-380-1039. Find @randompoker on Twitter.

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