Florida spine surgeon sentenced to life in prison after woman's drug overdose: 5 key notes

Written by Laura Dyrda | July 09, 2018 | Print  |

Johnny Benjamin, MD, a former spine surgeon based in Vero Beach, Fla., was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a federal drug case that lead to a woman's death, according to TC Palm.

1. Dr. Benjamin was convicted of distributing furanyl fentanyl-laced pills that were responsible for the death of one woman in 2016. Two Drug Enforcement Administration informants led to the arrest of Dr. Benjamin.

2. The informants pled guilty to selling prescriptions and counterfeit painkillers for Dr. Benjamin. The week-long trial concluded July 6.

3. In addition to the prison sentence, District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas ordered Dr. Benjamin to pay a $25,000 fine and give $10,000 to the victim's family. He told the TC Palm he hopes the sentence will deter other medical professionals form distributing drugs similarly.

4. Dr. Benjamin's attorney plans to file an appeal, although he did not reveal the scope of the potential appeal.

5. Dr. Benjamin previously practiced in Pro Spine Center, a 5,000-square-foot ASC; the building's owner tried to evict him in 2015.

More articles on spine surgery:
The best advice for a spine surgeon's continuous professional growth
The timeline for spine surgery complications in 90-day episodes: 5 points
CPT corrects guidance on combining 2 spine codes


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