OHIO — A federal jury in the Southern District of Ohio convicted an Ohio physician on Friday for unlawfully distributing opioids from his Martin’s Ferry clinic.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Thomas Romano, 72, of Wheeling, West Virginia, owned and operated a self-named pain management clinic where his clients traveled hundreds of miles to obtain prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances. For his opioid and other controlled substance prescriptions, Romano only accepted cash—$750 for an initial prescription and $120 for subsequent monthly prescriptions. The evidence offered at trial demonstrated that the prescriptions Romano issued for opioids and other controlled substances greatly exceeded recommended dosages and were in dangerous, life-threatening combinations that served to fuel the addiction of his clients. According to evidence introduced at trial, between January 2015 and June 2019, Romano prescribed over 111,000 pills, including opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants, to nine of his clients.
Romano was convicted of 24 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, outside the usual course of professional practice, and not for a legitimate medical purpose to these nine clients. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing date has not yet been set.