Doctor Pleads Guilty in Illegal Opioid Prescriptions Case

A Massachusetts doctor has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing opioid medications for no legitimate medical purpose. 

Dr. Fernando Jayma on Monday pleaded guilty in Hampden Superior Court to 22 counts of issuing false prescriptions as well as 17 counts of defrauding the state's Medicaid program. 

Prosecutors say the 74-year-old Ludlow doctor prescribed medications including morphine, fentanyl, oxydcodone, and methadone to patients with known abuse issues. 

When the charges first surfaced, authorities said he was the number two provider of opioids in Massachusetts, and that he issued prescriptions at a rate 11 times the state average. 

He faces sentencing May 16. 

Prosecutors have asked for up to three years in prison, while his lawyer asked for a one-year suspended jail sentence. 

Jayme has voluntarily given up his medical license.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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