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Feds: Vegas doctor posed as dead patient to get drugs

A suspended Las Vegas physician has been charged with fraudulently obtaining controlled substances for his own addiction by posing for more than two years as one of his dead patients.

Dr. Kent Swaine, 50, whose medical license was once revoked by the state over his drug use, was arrested Wednesday by federal drug agents assigned to a joint task force.

At Swaine’s initial appearance late Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach ordered him released on his own recognizance while he faces the charges.

According to a criminal complaint, Swaine wrote prescriptions for himself under the name of Alexander Hyt, a patient who died of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 5, 2011, and posed as Hyt at pharmacies to pick up the drugs, mostly painkillers and anti-depressants.

Swaine unlawfully obtained the prescription medication this way for more than two years after Hyt’s death until last December, the complaint alleged.

Swaine, who was suspended by the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners in Jan. 31, was described in the complaint as specializing in chiropractic medicine, plastic surgery and vascular surgery at his 5380 S. Rainbow Blvd. office.

The complaint said Swaine was licensed to practice medicine in Nevada in July 2001, but his license was revoked in October 2008.

He was reinstated by the medical board in June 2011 on the condition he abstain from using drugs and alcohol and not prescribe controlled substances for himself and his family.

The board later learned that he violated the terms of his reinstatement, including impersonating his late patient, and obtained his suspension. The impersonation scheme was uncovered when a pharmacy complained to the medical board, according to the complaint.

Swaine tested positive Jan. 30 for “amphetamines, benzodiazepine and opiates,” the complaint alleged.

In an interview with drug task force officers in July, Swaine admitted that he wrote and filled prescriptions for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, alprazolam and other controlled substances in Hyt’s name.

He also admitted that he treated patients while he was “high,” the complaint alleged.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.

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