On Jan. 28, a federal judge sentenced Freeport doctor Robert L. Ignasiak Jr. to serve 292 months in prison, and to pay $1 million in fines, plus court costs. Senior United States District Court Judge Lacey A. Collier imposed the sentence following Ignasiak’s Nov. 3, 2008 conviction on 43 charges, including health care fraud and illegal dispensing of controlled substances. Two instances of dispensing drugs resulted in the death of two persons.
The Freeport doctor’s trial took 19 days, and included evidence that Ignasiak, who owned and operated the Freeport Medical Clinic, prescribed drugs to patients he knew to be addicted or were misusing them, or who were “doctor shopping” to obtain drugs to support their addictions. Evidence was also put on showing that the clinic attracted patients from all over the Southeast, due to the doctor’s willingness to prescribe drugs with “little or no medical justification.”