Drug dealing doctor known as 'Candyman' heads to federal prison

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by CHRIS INGALLS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @cjingalls

KING5.com

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 30 at 1:28 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- A former South Sound medical doctor, known to some patients as "Candyman," is headed to federal prison for illegally distributing painkillers to hundreds, if not thousands, of patients.

Dr. Antoine Johnson was sentenced in Tacoma federal court this morning for convictions of health care fraud, drug distribution and tax evasion. He received a 12 year prison term. Johnson’s mother, Lawanda Johnson, served as office manager at his four Western Washington clinics. She was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
The FBI and healthcare investigators for the Department of Health and Human Services learned that Johnson was writing prescriptions for powerful painkillers without giving patients a thorough exam as required by law. Agents raided Johnson’s clinics and the home where he lived with his mother in 2009. 
In an interview the day after the raids, Johnson told KING 5 he was being targeted because of his race.
“I believe they are doing this because I’m a young, successful black man,” said Johnson. 
Shortly after that interview he fled to the African nation of Madagascar. FBI agents tracked him down and brought him to trial in November of last year.
Evidence presented at trial showed Johnson over-billed the federally funded Medicaid program and dispensed drugs to patients who may not have needed them. A federal court lawsuit accuses Johnson of medical negligence in the death of a patient in Aberdeen.
The judge also ordered Johnson to pay $1,227,746 in restitution.

 

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