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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces Health Care Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft Convictions

Release date:

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein announced today that Dr. Michael Alston Smith pled guilty to drug distribution, health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft in United States District Court in Charlotte. The conviction resolves allegations that Dr. Smith, a former Mount Holly family practice physician, illegally distributed controlled substances to female patients in exchange for sex acts.

“This doctor caused immense harm to patients struggling to combat opioid addiction, and in the process, cheated Medicaid and wasted taxpayer money,” said Attorney General Stein. “My office will continue to investigate and prosecute healthcare providers who commit fraud and abuse.”

Dr. Smith operated Mt. Holly Family Practice, Inc., in Mount Holly and had received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration to operate an office-based opioid treatment program to treat patients with pain management and substance abuse issues. Dr. Smith began soliciting sexual encounters from female patients who he was treating for pain management and/or substance abuse, and prescribed them Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances in exchange.

During that time, Dr. Smith also submitted fraudulent claims to, and received payment from, the North Carolina Medicaid and Medicare programs for office visits involving these sexual encounters and caused the submission of prescription claims to Medicaid and Medicare.

This conviction was obtained by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina with the assistance of the North Carolina Department of Justice, Medicaid Investigations Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Mount Holly Police Department.

About the Medicaid Investigations Division (MID)

Stein’s MID investigates fraud and abuse by healthcare companies and providers, as well as patient abuse and neglect in facilities that are funded by Medicaid.  Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that helps provide medical care for people with limited income. To date, the MID has recovered more than $500 million in restitution and penalties for North Carolina.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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