A doctor who operated a sham medical clinic in Los Angeles pleaded guilty to federal charges of drug trafficking and money laundering connected to her illegal distribution of powerful prescription drugs.
Madhu Garg, a 64-year-old resident of Glendora pleaded guilty to one count of illegally distributing prescription drugs and one count of laundering cash accumulated through illegal activity, transferring those funds to a Malaysian bank account, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office in a written statement.
Garg was arrested along with other operators of the shuttered Southfork Medical Clinic in Los Angeles in January of 2015. Records maintained by the state showed that Garg issued more than 10,000 prescriptions for controlled drugs during her year-long tenure at the clinic.
With the guilty plea, Garg faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison.
A federal grand jury indictment charged seven defendants with conspiring to sell unnecessary prescriptions of oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax, the muscle relaxant carisprodol and promethazine with codeine (known on the streets as “purple drank” and sizzurp”), prosecutors said.
Financial records also showed that during her time at Southfork, Garg also received more than $300,000, transferring more than $90,000 to accounts in Malaysia and Thailand.
Undercover agents went to Southfork and were prescribed oxycodone and promethazine with codeine on eight occasions. Garg also issued a prescription to an undercover witness and agreed to issue a new prescription to the same patient the following week under a false name, prosecutors said.
As part of a plea agreement, Garg said she issued the prescriptions at the instructions of Southfork’s owner, Jagehauel Gillespie, knowing that the patients did not need the drugs, prosecutors said.
The conspirators also used their L.A clinic as a base of operations for acquiring and distributing bulk shipments of prescription drugs to Texas. Garg aided Gillespie in acquiring oxycodone from international wholesalers, even after her medical license was revoked in December of 2013, prosecutors said.
Garg is scheduled for a sentencing hearing May 26.