Doctor gets 12 years in prison

By John Leptich, Tribune

A federal judge Monday sentenced a Scottsdale physician to 12 years in prison and ordered him to pay nearly $30,000 on 185 counts of prescribing highly addictive drugs such as OxyContin and morphine to patients without a legitimate medical purpose.

Jeffrey H. Feingold, 58, a state-licensed naturopathic physician who specialized in natural healing methods, faced maximum penalties of five to 20 years imprisonment per count and a maximum fine of $250,000 per count, according to Sandy Raynor, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Feingold was convicted in May of illegal distribution of controlled substances.

While the U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended 121 months, according to Raynor, Judge Stephen M. McNamee imposed 144 months, an $18,400 special assessment, an $11,000 money asset forfeiture and three years of supervised release. He was taken into custody Monday evening and scheduled to be brought to Corrections Corp. of America’s Florence facility until he can be assigned to a permanent federal prison in the Southwest.

"People put doctors into another category other than street dealers," said prosecutor Taj Rahi-Loo. "Doctors can’t pass drugs like this out like candy. When they do, society has to treat them like a street dealer and get them off the street. We believe that (Feingold’s) conduct warranted a sentence of this nature. It sends a serious message to other practitioners who abuse the system and try to supplement their income. Dr. Feingold’s conduct was particularly disturbing. He was destroying lives."

Feingold’s attorney, Thomas Hoidal of Phoenix, could not be reached for comment.

Feingold, who lives in Paradise Valley and practiced in Scottsdale since 1991, was indicted last year after an 18-month investigation. It took a jury one day to return guilty verdicts. Evidence at trial showed that 10 patients and two undercover Drug Enforcement Agency agents posing as patients received more than 14,000 doses of controlled substances such Percocet, Vicodin, morphine and OxyContin over 1 1 /2 years.

Feingold’s advertisements in booklets distributed at health food stores in the Valley said he had 26 years of experience. The ads said he specialized in "integrating natural and conventional medicine."

He graduated from National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore., in 1976.

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