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National Insurance Crime Bureau

El Paso Doctor Indicted for Distributing Controlled Substances and Health Care Fraud Resulting in Five Deaths

U.S. Attorney’s Office – Western District of Texas, May 27, 2021

EL PASO – Today federal authorities arrested 60-year-old Dr. Brian James August of El Paso for allegedly committing health care fraud and distributing controlled substances that resulted in the overdose deaths of five individuals.

A 15-count federal grand jury indictment, unsealed upon his arrest, charges Dr. August with five counts of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death or serious bodily injury, five counts of distribution of a controlled substance and five counts of health care fraud resulting in death.  Upon conviction, Dr. August faces 20 years to life in federal prison for the drug charges resulting in death; up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the remaining drug charges; and up to life in federal prison for each of the health care fraud charges.

The indictment alleges that between December 2012 and March 2018, Dr. August, who practiced Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation aka “physiatry,” prescribed and dispensed controlled substances, including methadone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone, outside the usual course of medical practice and without legitimate medical purpose, resulting in the deaths of five victims.  Dr. August is also alleged to have committed health care fraud by billing for services he did not perform.

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