A Fountain Valley-based physician and two of his assistants prescribed oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam to patients despite no "legitimate medical purpose," according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Monday that notes four recipients died days later.
Dr. Victor B. Siew, 65, of Laguna Beach, is expected to surrender to authorities before his initial court appearance in Santa Ana this afternoon, says Thom Mrozek, the U.S. Attorney's office spokesman.
Siew's assistant Thanh Nha T. Pham, 45, of Fountain Valley, is expected to surrender to authorities later this week, while the other, Kaitlyn Phuong Nguyen, 31, of San Jose, has already been arrested in Northern California, Mrozek says.
Siew, Nguyen and Pham began dispensing prescriptions for the drugs illegally beginning in January 2009, according to the indictment, which notes the physician assistants would dole out scripts when the doctor was away from the office.
According to the indictment:
* One patient died two days after Siew prescribed methadone, alprazolam, hydroxyalprazolam, desalkyflurazepam and nordiazepam.
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* Another died of an overdose three days after receiving a prescription from Siew.
* A third died of "acute polydrug intoxication" eight days after Siew prescribed methadone, alprazolam and amphetamine salts.
* The fourth patient also died eight days after receiving a Siew prescription.
The indictment also alleges two different patients received prescriptions for multiple drugs from Nguyen that had been "pre-signed" by Siew.