Wausau doctor pleads guilty to diverting fentanyl
MADISON, Wis. – United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Scott C. Blader announced that Thomas Strick, 60, of Wausau, Wis., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Madison to five counts of obtaining fentanyl by use of misrepresentation and fraud. Strick faces a maximum penalty of four years in prison. District Judge William Conley scheduled sentencing for Oct. 9, 2019, at 1:00 p.m.
During the time frame of the government’s investigation, Strick was employed as a family practice physician for Aspirus Health Care in Wausau. In this capacity, Strick worked at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and the Aspirus Wausau Family Clinic. The government’s investigation revealed that Strick regularly prescribed fentanyl patches to patients without a medical need. Strick instructed the patients to fill the prescriptions and return the fentanyl patches to him for personal use. The investigation into Strick’s patients’ records revealed over 100 suspected diversions of fentanyl patches between 2011 and 2018.
“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the value of local and federal law enforcement working alongside prosecutors to hold rogue practitioners accountable for their actions. Every day the men and women of DEA work to improve public health and safety and bring to justice those responsible for the illicit trade and diversion of DEA controlled substances,” said DEA Associate Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Bell.
“The U.S. Department of Justice continues to make prosecution of those who divert or distribute lethally addictive substances, such as fentanyl, a priority,” said U.S. Attorney Blader. “My office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold these individuals accountable, especially medical practitioners who violate their oaths.”
The charges against Strick are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wausau Police Department. The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron D. Wegner.
# # #