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Dr. Arash Padidar Arrested for Opioid Prescription Charges?

Doctor being arrested with handcuffs

Dr. Arash Padidar Arrested for Opioid Prescription Violations

On August 11, 2023, Dr. Arash Padidar, a Santa Clara County doctor was arrested on accusations that he prescribed opioids illegally to patients. California Attorney General Bonta called Dr. Padidar’s arrest a warning.  This was a joint Attorney General and Medical Board investigation and this blog warns of how a board investigation can be a stalking horse for criminal charges.

"When a bad actor exploits their position for personal gain, they not only shatter our trust, they harm vulnerable patients. Let today’s arrest serve as a warning: The California Department of Justice will not tolerate abuses of power and will hold perpetrators accountable."

The claim is that Dr. Padidar (between October 2018 and October 2020) prescribed Norco improperly. Criminal charges are rarely simply and the way the doctor was charged involved seven felony counts. He was alleged to have provided opioids by fraud, deceit and misrepresentation, issuing prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose, forging and issuing a prescription, unlawful use of personal information and conspiracy to commit a crime

Medical Board Accusation Filed One Week Later

But it doesn’t stop there. A review of the California Medical Board website shows that one week later an Accusation was filed against Dr. Padidar. The Accusation claims that Dr. Padidar had been interviewed by the Medical Board on March 28, 2023. Now the same entity conducting that interview (the Medical Board which is ultimately controlled by the Attorney General), brought the criminal charges. The Accusation claims that Dr. Padidar discussed his prescribing practice to
patients, including family members, stating in part:

"I wrote prescriptions for them which may have been appropriate at that time. However, as you know, we are here because I became dependent on codeine product and I then asked some of these folks who were family members, some were friends, would they help me, and you know, fill prescriptions for me on my behalf. And so, it was wrong of me, I did a stupid thing and a non-responsible thing, definitely, and I'm ashamed of it. But that's the explanation for why there is so many Norcos in the CURES that you see."

This is an example of an attack on two fronts against a doctor. The medical board inquiry seems to be purely administrative but it is recorded and shared with the public and law enforcement. The doctor sought medical help and the Accusation states that he had an opioid use disorder. Again, these proceedings are painfully public. One cannot dispute the wisdom of having such an examination in order to explain conduct but the public nature of these disclosures is incredibly difficult for the affected doctor.

Daniel Horowitz has decades of experience representing doctors in medical board and criminal matters. In cases where both are involved, you need expert assistance. Please call our office if you have any medical board or physician related criminal matters. We take cases throughout California.

Learn more about PHYSICIAN DEFENSE at Lawyers in Lafayette.