Former cardiologist sentenced to 8 years for fraud, unlawful drug distribution

A former Bowling Green, Kentucky, cardiologist was sentenced to eight years in prison May 7 after pleading guilty to 31 counts of healthcare fraud, 14 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and one count of conspiring to distribute controlled substances that were not for a legitimate medical purpose.  

Charles Fred Gott, 66, has paid more than $160,000 in court-ordered restitution and will be required to pay a $17,500 fine and have his medical license stripped, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.

Authorities accused Gott of distributing methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxymorphone and clonazepam to patients for no medical purpose between 2010 and 2013. He was also accused of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid and filing claims for medically unnecessary tests, according to the newspaper.

These incidents occurred after Gott moved from cardiology to pain management late in his career.

“There’s no question Dr. Gott has helped thousands of people through his cardiology practice over the years,” U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers said at the sentencing hearing. “When he transitioned from cardiology, it appears he got into an area of medicine where he did not have sufficient training and did not follow proper protocols.”

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