STERLING – A local doctor who prosecutors say excessively prescribed pain meds, getting his patients hooked and causing the deaths of three of them, was arrested Wednesday on federal charges of illegally dispensing prescription drugs and income tax fraud.
Richard H. Ng, 61, practiced osteopathic medicine at Sauk Medical Clinic, which had offices in DeKalb and Sterling. His license was suspended in 2011 after accusations first surfaced.
His wife also was indicted and arrested.
According to a news release sent late this afternoon from the U.S. District attorney, a federal grand jury indicted Ng Tuesday on 89 counts: one of conspiracy to dispense controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, 81 of dispensing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, and seven of income tax fraud.
Lee Lee Foong, 54, also known as Audrey, the clinic's office manager, was charged with one count of conspiracy to illegally dispense controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medial purpose, five counts of dispensing controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate legal purpose and one count of income tax fraud.
It was not clear from the release if the two still are married.
According to the release, Ng prescribed and dispensed Oxycodone, methadone, morphine and other pain meds without doing adequate medical evaluations, increased the dosage, and required his patients "to return frequently to Ng to obtain excessive amounts of the controlled substances."
He ignored obvious indications his patients were abusing or misusing the drugs, which caused the deaths of three of his patients.
Ng also filed false U.S. corporate income tax returns for the clinic for 2008-10, knowing that they underestimated the clinic's gross receipts by $922,850, which would have resulted in additional income tax due of $320,738.
The indictment also accuses Ng and Foong of filing a false return for 2011, the year they were married, and failing to report a total of $1,256,486 in cash received from the clinic and rental receipts, which would have resulted in $270,873 in income tax due, the release said.
Ng's office at 705 W. Third St. in Sterling has been closed since October 2011, and the building has been for sale since at least February 2012.