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Memphis Psychiatrist Richard Farmer Found Guilty


Memphis psychiatrist Richard Farmer who was arrested last April now awaits sentencing.

Dr Richard G Farmer - Memphis PsychiatristMEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – Feb. 21, 2020
A federal jury found a west Tennessee psychiatrist guilty today for unlawfully distributing opioids to purported patients and to others who were never his patients. Farmer was charged in an April 2019 indictment as part of an Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force Takedown, and this was the first trial guilty verdict for the Strike Force.

Richard Farmer, M.D., 83, of Memphis, Tennessee, a licensed psychiatrist, was found guilty of three counts of distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

Following an eight-day trial, Richard Farmer, M.D., 83, of Memphis, Tennessee, a licensed psychiatrist, was found guilty of three counts of distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

Statements from Law Enforcement

“The Department of Justice will not relent in its pursuit of those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic in the Appalachian region,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant of the Western District of Tennessee said, “This guilty verdict demonstrates our resolve to aggressively prosecute medical personnel who misuse their positions of trust to exploit the very people coming to them for help.”

“Doctors who take advantage of patients suffering from addiction are no different than street corner drug dealers,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Louisville Division Office. “I am proud of the dedicated men and women of DEA who worked tirelessly to bring Dr. Farmer to justice.”

Evidence at Trial

According to the evidence presented at trial, Farmer prescribed opioids to three women with whom he had ongoing sexual contact during the time he was prescribing.

Farmer prescribed opioids to three women with whom he had ongoing sexual contact during the time he was prescribing. The evidence showed that between July 2016 and January 2019, Farmer prescribed over 1,200 pills, even though the three women showed clear signs of addiction. The evidence further showed that he kept almost no patient files on these women, and that he also wrote opioid prescriptions for the women’s friends and neighbors without any office visits.

The evidence showed that between July 2016 and January 2019, Farmer prescribed over 1,200 pills, even though the three women showed clear signs of addiction. The evidence further showed that he kept almost no patient files on these women, and that he also wrote opioid prescriptions for the women’s friends and neighbors without any office visits.

Investigation and Prosecution

The DEA, along with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson Police Department, investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Jillian Willis of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Damon Griffin of the Western District of Tennessee are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the ARPO Strike Force. Since its inception in October 2018, the ARPO Strike Force, which operates in 10 districts, has charged more than 70 defendants who are collectively responsible for distributing more than 40 million pills. There have thus far been 24 guilty pleas as a result of the ARPO Strike Force’s efforts.

Links

Request for Information

Farmer is known to have practiced in Maryland and California before finally settling in Memphis. He may have practiced in Mississippi or other states. He was sued for malpractice in Tennessee in 2018 in a case that apparently settled out of court.

Due to his practice of keeping “almost no patient files” on the victims in this case, there is a real concern that there may be additional victims stretching back many years and over a wide geographic area.

CCHR Nashville wishes to speak with the victims in this current suit, and has pledged to maintain confidentiality. Anyone with further information about this case or others should reach out to CCHR through the contact page at cchrnashville.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Richard Guerard Farmer, a psychiatrist of Memphis, Tennessee who is the subject of this article, is not to be confused with Dr. Richard G. Farmer, a respectable medical professional and professor in Rochester, New York.