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Baltimore ‘pill mill’ doctor sentenced to 5 years in prison

A Baltimore doctor has been sentenced to five years in prison for running “pill mill” operations in the city and Anne Arundel County, the state attorney general’s office announced Friday.

Kofi-Shaw Taylor also was ordered to pay more than $118,000 in restitution to the Maryland Medicaid Program.

Shaw-Taylor’s sentencing comes a year after he and nine others were accused of operating two pill mills that illegally distributed opioids and other controlled substances. He and nine co-conspirators allegedly dispensed drugs without a medical purpose and submitted fraudulent Medicaid claims.

Medicaid data showed more than 1,000 beneficiaries were prescribed medication by Shaw-Taylor but more than 700 of them were not billed for corresponding medical visits, according to the attorney general’s office. Approximately 400 beneficiaries were prescribed 283,666 doses of oxycodone by Shaw-Taylor. Patients also received unlawful prescriptions for large quantities of narcotics, including oxycodone, morphine, tramadol, and benzodiazepine.

“Dr. Shaw-Taylor defrauded the state and helped spread the disease of addiction,” Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said in a statement. “Today, with our federal and state partners, we shut him down and will continue to prosecute others who choose to operate as drug dealers masquerading as legitimate health practitioners.”

Shaw-Taylor also is one of four Maryland physicians named as defendants in Anne Arundel County’s lawsuit against several opioid manufacturers filed in January. The lawsuit accuses all defendants of helping to “cultivate a narrative that pain was under-treated and pain treatment should be a higher priority for health care providers” and beginning to promote opioids as safe and effective for long-term use starting in the 1990s.

Shaw-Taylor’s sentencing brings that investigation to close and resulted in the conviction of 10 defendants. Eight of Shaw-Taylor’s co-defendants pleaded guilty for participating in the pill mill scheme. Tormarco Harris, owner of the two clinics, was sentenced in June to the maximum 20-year sentence under Maryland’s Drug Kingpin statute, the attorney general’s office said.

Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer Heather Cobun contributed to this article.

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