Doctor charged after DEA probe

KINGMAN - The federal investigation that led to 14 felony charges against a Las Vegas doctor who operated out of a Golden Valley clinic began with a tip from the Kingman Police Department.

Dr. Albert Szu Sun Yeh was charged this week with conspiracy, assisting a criminal syndicate, money laundering and improperly administering narcotic drugs.

Investigators said Yeh routinely wrote more than 100 prescriptions a day for strong painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin to patients at the Pain Wellness Center without a physical workup. Yeh had been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for about two years. One undercover agent was prescribed a controlled substance after meeting with the doctor for 58 seconds, according to Special Agent Elizabeth Kempshaw. Another undercover agent received two prescriptions, or 240 pills, of Percocet two weeks apart.

"Dr. Yeh did not practice medicine," Kempshaw said. "He dealt drugs. Such doctors do great harm to the public and the medical profession."

Yeh is a pain management doctor with a main clinic in Las Vegas. He rented office space at the Golden Valley clinic from Kingman Regional Medical Center but was not affiliated with the hospital. Yeh saw patients in Golden Valley one day a week.

The investigation into the doctor's practices began when KPD was contacted by a local pharmacy in June 2007 about a person picking up a prescription that was suspected to be fraudulent. A patrol officer stopped the suspect and the investigation was turned over to Sgt. Dave Turk. Turk contacted the DEA after dozens of other prescriptions were discovered to be fraudulent.

Yeh filed more than 31,900 insurance claims between 2004 and 2009, a number investigators say is far in excess of what is possible given his schedule. Yeh allegedly collected $3.5 million in fraudulent insurance claims. A warrant served last week led to the seizure of $3.9 million belonging to Yeh.

Yeh's medical assistant, Bryan V. Espinosa of Henderson, Nev., is charged with seven felony counts.