A Las Vegas physician was sentenced to five years probation Tuesday for fraudulently obtaining controlled substances for his own addiction by posing as one of his dead patients.
Kent Swaine, 50, pleaded guilty in December to a single felony count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.
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 December 2013, the complaint alleged.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware ordered Swaine to write a letter of apology to the Hyt family and also perform 150 hours of community service.
Boulware told Swaine he was concerned that he had a substance abuse problem while treating patients.
“Your addiction placed other people at risk,” Boulware said.
Swaine, who has received drug counseling since his arrest, apologized to Boulware and the medical profession for his conduct and said it likely would be a long time before he’s able to practice medicine again. He told Boulware the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners last week revoked his license.
“I messed it up,” Swaine said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane Pomerantz did not seek a prison term for Swaine, who was suspended by the medical board in January 2014 following the federal investigation.
Swaine was described in the criminal complaint as specializing in chiropractic medicine, plastic surgery and vascular surgery at his 5380 S. Rainbow Blvd. office. He was licensed to practice medicine in Nevada in July 2001.
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