Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chicago Physician Facing Federal Charges For Illegally Prescribing Hydrocodone To A Hospital Patient Using Another Physician's DEA Number

A Chicago physician Dr. Kenneth S. Nave associated with Sacred Heart Hospital on the city’s west side was arrested on April 17, 2013 and is facing federal charges for allegedly illegally prescribing hydrocodone to a hospital patient without having a valid license and registration to prescribe controlled substances.  Dr. Nave allegedly illegally used the Drug Enforcement Administration registration number of another physician when he prescribed the hydrocodone last December. There is no allegation that the prescription was not medically necessary.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the federal complaint against Dr. Nave, the investigation has revealed that between at least November 2012 and February 25, 2013, he issued approximately 101 prescriptions for controlled substances to approximately 33 patients at Sacred Heart  using the DEA registration issued to another physician. It is specifically alleged that on December 7, 2012, Dr. Nave allegedly prescribed a particular patient 90 pills containing hydrocodone, a narcotic controlled substance, using this other physician registration number.

The illegal prescription count carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.  

Dr. Nave’s licensing status appears to have been a role in this case according to the affidavit. Dr. Nave’s Illinois license to practice medicine was suspended between 2002 and 2008.  It was restored to probationary status on Dec. 20, 2012, but his state license to prescribe controlled substances was not restored until February 26, 2013, according to the complaint affidavit.  Separately, Nave was not registered with the DEA to prescribe controlled substances but an application for DEA registration that was submitted on March 6, 2013 is pending, the affidavit adds.

On April 18, 2013, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued an order suspending Nave’s license to practice medicine.

This case is related to an investigation of Sacred Heart Hospital overall.  On April 16, 2013, the owner and chief executive officer of Sacred Heart was arrested, along with the hospital’s chief financial officer and four physicians affiliated with the hospital on federal charges alleging a conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in exchange for referral of Medicare and Medicaid patients to the hospital.  Federal agents also executed search and seizure warrants as part of an ongoing investigation of Medicare fraud allegations involving medically unnecessary emergency room admissions and in-patient tracheotomy procedures.

Any questions or comments  should be directed to Tracy Green, a very experienced physican attorneywhite collar criminal defense attorney and DEA attorney at

The firm focuses its practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings. They have a specialty in representing licensed health care providers in criminal matters in California and throughout the country. You can contact Ms. Green at 213-233-2260


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