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Physician’s assistant agrees to plea deal

A subordinate in an alleged prescription drug fraud enterprise that two Southern Nevada doctors are accused of operating in northwest Arizona entered a plea agreement Tuesday in Kingman.

The deal will require physician’s assistant Bryan Espinosa, 54, of Henderson, to testify and cooperate with authorities in the continuing prosecution of Dr. Albert Szu Sun Yeh, 44, of Las Vegas.

Both men were indicted in July after undercover Drug Enforcement Agents allegedly purchased illegally prescribed drugs from the pain management clinic Dr. Yeh formerly ran in Golden Valley. Six felony criminal counts were dismissed in exchange for Espinosa’s conviction on a single count of assisting a criminal syndicate.

“Mr. Espinosa, under the direction of Dr. Yeh, provided patients with prescriptions which Dr. Yeh had printed out prior to seeing or examining patients,” defense attorney Denise Abrams told Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Williams.

Prosecutor Rod Albright told the court that Espinosa and Yeh were the only ones involved. Espinosa will be spared prison time under the deal, provided he successfully completes probation. Judge Williams can impose up to four years probation and up to one year of county jail time when Espinosa is sentenced sometime next year.

Sentencing is deferred, giving Espinosa time to cooperate with prosecutors.

Charges against Yeh in a 14-count indictment include conspiracy, assisting a criminal syndicate, money laundering and administering a narcotic drug. The government seized $3.9 million in Yeh’s cash and assets after alleging the criminal conduct also involved fraudulent billing activity.

Yeh’s lawyers have indicated inside and outside of court that the doctor is innocent and looks forward to being exonerated and returning to his profession. They’ve said Yeh voluntarily surrendered medical licenses and closed his practice in Las Vegas and Golden Valley after the summer indictment.

Yeh is free on bond while awaiting trial.

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