USE Department of Justice USE

A Brentwood doctor who operated Absolute Medical Care (AMC) clinic in Smyrna has been found guilty of 12 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance following a jury trial.

As previously reported, 54-year-old Hau T. La was indicted by a Federal grand jury earlier this year on 16 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance after he “prescribed oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine to eight patients outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.”

He was found guilty on Tuesday, while he was acquitted on four of those counts.

The charges followed a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that spanned six states and eight federal districts and resulted in charges against 14 people.

Two other Tennessee medical professionals, a Manchester physician and a Pulaski nurse, were also charged in the nationwide investigation, along with other defendants in Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey and West Virginia. 

“At AMC, La purportedly provided addiction treatment as his primary practice, but nevertheless prescribed opioid pain pills to some of his patients despite red flags for addiction and abuse,” the DOJ said in a news release.

“AMC, which did not accept health insurance, charged patients $200-$350 cash, credit, or debit, per visit and was only open on Fridays. La rarely spent more than a few minutes with the patients to whom he provided unlawful opioid prescriptions.”

La faces a maximum of 20 years in Federal prison on each count, meaning that he could be facing up to 230 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 5, 2023.