A former doctor who operated the Walk-In Clinic at the corner of Ridge and Broadway in Alton has been sentenced in U.S. District Court. 69 year old Viwathna Bhuthimethee of Alton will serve a year and a day in federal prison after pleading guilty to 15 counts of health care fraud and illegal distribution of controlled substances.
Authorities from the DEA and Alton Police raided his office in October 2012 and his license was suspended. Federal prosecutors said the doctor had been dispersing medication to mostly poor patients for years, and in many cases, those patients were addicts or would become addicts, and some would overdose and die. Prosecutors said other physicians, pharmacists and the Illinois Department of Public Aid warned Dr. Bhuthimethee about “out of control” patients he was prescribing medications to without asking questions. In early 2012, he was kicked out of the Medicaid program, but prosecutors said he continued to see patients on a cash-only basis. In addition to his prison term, he will serve two years supervised release and pay a fine.