Doctor pleads guilty in drug, money laundering case
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A New Orleans-area physician has pleaded guilty in a drug and money laundering case.
U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser's office says in a Friday news release that 58-year-old Wayne Jerome Celestine is a New Orleans resident who practiced medicine in Gretna.
Celestine was arrested in April. Court documents say he had illegally dispensed opiates, often without conducting medical or physical exams of his patients in visits that lasted five minutes or less. He also arranged for the cash he received from patients to be deposited in increments of less than $10,000 at multiple banks to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.
He faces a mandatory seven-year prison term if the court accepts the plea agreement. He could also be fined $1.5 million. Sentencing is set for Feb. 28.
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