YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A doctor accused of running a pill mill out of a Lake Milton office pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to an 86-count indictment.
Martin Escobar, 58, entered his pleas before U.S. Judge Donald C. Nugent in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio to charges of distribution of controlled substances; distribution of controlled substances to a person under 21; maintaining a drug involved premises; and health care fraud.
Sentencing is May 17 before Judge Nugent.
A federal grand jury indicted Escobar in March of 2020 following a search warrant that was served in November of 2019.
Court documents said Escobar was “prescribing controlled substances that were outside the usual course of health care practice,” including to people under 21. Prosecutors said two of his patients died of drug overdoses.
Prosecutors say Escobar ignored signs that his patients were becoming addicted to the medication and did not document in medical charts the reason for prescribing the controlled substances. He is also accused of failing to use other treatments options other than opioids, even increasing dosages for prolonged periods of time without evidence that the treatment plan was working.
He is also accused of billing insurance companies and the government for the work he was doing.
Prosecutors looked at Escobar’s work with 51 patients between 2015 and 2019.