Dr. Alvin Yee: Starbucks Used to Evaluate Patients, Dole Out Oxycodone Prescriptions For Cash, Feds Allege | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Dr. Alvin Yee: Starbucks Used to Evaluate Patients, Dole Out Oxycodone Prescriptions For Cash, Feds Allege

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Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 12:16 PM

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You know, just the other day we were thinking we sure wish we could find a good doctor ... in Starbucks.

And here we find that one Alvin Mingczech Yee has been practicing inside this fine purveyor of coffee, with examinations costing $600 and less, according to our friends at the U.S. Attorney's Office in L.A.

Wow. We hope free latte comes with that.

And the real value here, besides price and convenience?

Yee was doling out prescriptions for "addictive opiates to 'patients' he barely examined," according allegations forwarded by U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek.

Wow. Powerful drugs. Convenient Orange County locations. Quick-and-easy exams. Sign us up!

Unfortunately, a federal grand jury wasn't as impressed as we are, and indicted Yee on 56 counts of allegedly prescribing drugs, including oxycodone, "outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose."

The 43-year-old doc from Mission Viejo was arrested last night after the DEA and local cops visited his office in Irvine. Feds say they were looking at him for a year and planted undercover agents posing as patients to catch him allegedly prescribing the drugs with little evaluation involved.

The U.S. Attorney's office says half his prescriptions were for oxycodone and that one-third of his Starbucks patients were under 25.

They say he met with a dozen people at night sometimes and fired off prescriptions from his pad for cash. Some suspects busted by feds with "large quantities" of opiates in Seattle, Phoenix and Detroit fingered Yee as their source, feds allege.

The grand jury indictment charges Yee with "illegal distribution of a controlled substance by a medical practitioner ... [and] six counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance by a medical practitioner to a minor, which under federal law is someone under the age of 21," according to Mrozek.

Just a couple of those counts are worth 60 years if Yee is convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Unfortunately, there's no Starbucks in federal prison.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]

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