Drug dealing doctor sentenced to 71 months in federal prison


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Date: January 12, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Grand Rapids, MI — Dr. Richard Samuel Piazza, D.O., of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison and 3 years of supervised release for writing illegal opioid prescriptions. U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff imposed the sentence. In September 2020, Dr. Piazza pled guilty to three counts of distribution of controlled substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a), related to writing opioid prescriptions for no legitimate medical reason. He wrote illegal prescriptions for thousands of opioids in exchange for cash or a kickback of some of the pills. Judge Neff described his behavior as "an attack on the integrity of the medical profession."

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Michigan State Police, and the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Clay Stiffler prosecuted the case.