Alton doctor gets 366 days prison in fraud, pills case

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – A southwestern Illinois doctor has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program and illegally dispensing prescription medications.

Sixty-nine-year-old Viwathna Bhuthimethee of Alton also was fined $5,000 on Thursday in East St. Louis and ordered to spend two years on post-prison supervised release.

Bhuthimethee pleaded guilty in February to one count of health care fraud and 14 counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance.

Authorities say Bhuthimethee ran an Alton walk-in clinic with his wife. He was indicted in 2012.

Investigators accused him of operating a “pill mill” in which he prescribed more than 2,000 painkiller or anti-anxiety pills to four women from 2008 through 2010 outside the course of his professional practice.


  • Mike Shenberger

    Ridiculous sentence. If this had been some random person or someone without money, they would have received 30 years or more. This doctor committed class X felony after class X felony. Class X carry’s 6 to 30 years in prison. He defrauded the government of countless hundreds of thousands of dollars and he received a year in federal prison and a $5000 fine. Just another example of the rich elite scratching each others back. BS!!!

    • Julia Bowen

      This is exactly why people should VOTE! You are completely correct, but we elect these idiots and put them in a position of power over us and then wonder why sentences like this get handed down. Who’s the federal prosecutor that handled the case? Look at the corruption in Illinois courts that have recently come to light. Do we think it was only in the local politics? It’s disgusting and people are getting more and more fed up with crappy decisions like this.

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