Effingham doctor sentenced to federal prison for selling narcotics to patients

BENTON — A 61-year-old Effingham medical doctor has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison after he was found guilty on seven counts of illegally dispensing Schedule II Controlled Substances to patients who suffered from drug addiction.

Naeem Mahmood Kohli was also ordered to pay $10,500 in fines, $700 in special assessments, serve 3 years of supervised release after incarceration, and ordered to forfeit to the United States his office building located at 500 North Maple, along with $34,419.72, as a result of his convictions.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern Illinois District Stephen Wigginton stated, “The evidence heard by the jury and judge in the case establishedthat Kohli abandoned his role as a medical professional for a price and essentially sold the keys for the pharmacy to patients with drug addictions.

Kohli, who operated the Kohli Neurology and Sleep Center in Effingham, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in March of 2014 and went to trial in United States District Court during January 2015.

On January 27, 2015, after a 17-day jury trial, a federal jury in Benton concluded that Kohli illegally dispensed Oxycodone and Hydromorphone, both highly addictive controlled substances, outside the usual course of the medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

The prosecution arose from a law enforcement investigation titled Operation Doctor Feelgood. The joint law enforcement investigation focused on “pill mills” where doctors provided prescription drugs to addicts for a fee.

The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the

Illinois State Police, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Effingham Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Ranley R. Killian and Michael J. Quinley.