Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
United States Attorney McSwain Announces 2019 Affirmative Civil Enforcement Achievements and Ongoing 2020 Efforts Resulting in Recoveries of Over $260 Million
PHILADELPHIA, PA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced affirmative civil enforcement (ACE) achievements in 2019 by the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and its ongoing efforts in the first half of 2020 to stop fraud, waste, and abuse against the government. The number of affirmative civil enforcement settlements rose to an all-time high in 2019, solidifying the Office’s Civil Division as one of the busiest and most productive in the nation.
Controlled Substances Act Enforcement
Spiro Kassis, M.D. Dr. Kassis paid $1.4 million, committed to never obtaining a controlled substance registration, and consented to a 15-year exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid to resolve allegations that he improperly prescribed Schedule II controlled substances to patients between 2014 and 2017.
In a parallel criminal proceeding, Kassis pled guilty to 14 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances. According to the criminal charges, Kassis, who claimed to be a specialist in psychiatry and addiction medicine, operated medical offices in East Norriton Township, PA and Scranton, PA and used his offices to operate a prescription “pill mill” where he sold medically unnecessary prescriptions for opioids such as oxycodone for approximately $200 cash each.
This opioid settlement, the first of its kind in this Office, simultaneously resolved all three aspects of liability – under the Controlled Substances Act, FCA, and forfeiture statutes – in a single civil settlement agreement.