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What Typically Triggers a DEA Investigation?

March 18, 2022 DEA Defense Lawyers

The DEA office of diversion looks for certain red flags, in order to determine which physicians might be breaking the law. Those who might be breaking the law, bear the brunt of the DEA’s full wrath – with increased scrutiny, raids, and more. The more red flags, the greater the chance you are subject to the scrutiny of the DEA. Just because you are the subject of one, or more red flags, doesn’t mean you’re breaking the law necessarily. It simply means the DEA will be investigating you to make sure – there are no irregularities. Many of our clients have faced indictments for narcotics/drug trafficking, and proactively wish they had known what the red flags were – that the DEA is looking for.

At Spodek Law Group – we have experience dealing with a number of DEA issues – ranging from criminal issues, to administrative issues, and more. Below is a list of DEA red flags which the DEA might look at – when trying to understand whether a physician/healthcare provider is breaking the law.

  • Your practice is cash only
  • You don’t bill insurance
  • You have a lot of out of state patients
  • You have a high proportion of Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 narcotics relative to other drugs
  • Patients are traveling long distances to fill their prescriptions
  • The healthcare provider isn’t board certified, and/or is practicing outside of his/her speciality
  • There are a number of family members in your practice
  • Your practice has a high number of doctor shoppers
  • There’s a lot of patients per day, above average
  • Patients are traveling long distance to get treatment from you
  • Marketers are coming to your practice. Marketers are gathering patients, and driving them to your pain clinic.
  • The office isn’t functioning as a normal medical practice
  • The office doesn’t have any proper medical equipment
  • The office is open during unusual hours
  • You have no support staff, or limited support staff

These are some of the most common DEA red flags that trigger a DEA investigation.

If your practice has some, or all, of these DEA red flags, you could face an investigation from the DEA. You could face scrutiny from the DEA.

The DEA might send undercover patients, or even execute a search warrant/raid on your practice. The red flags above are things that federal prosecutors will look for – and and use as evidence, when trying to show that you are prescribing drugs without a legitimate medical purpose.

If any of the red flags above are present in your practice, we encourage you to call the Spodek Law Group for a risk free consultation. Our team of DEA defense lawyers will work to help you review your practice, and assist you in being compliance with the DEA – so these red flags disappear.



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