NILES, Ohio (WJW) – A Northeast Ohio doctor admitted to illegally prescribing drugs and engaging in sexual acts with patients during office visits, among other offenses.
Jeffrey Sutton, a 65-year-old physician, pleaded guilty Monday to 31 counts of illegally prescribing patients opioids and other controlled substances, one count of illegally distributing controlled substances and 20 counts of healthcare fraud.
He had been practicing in Niles up until early 2022.
According to court documents, Sutton knowingly prescribed drugs to patients “outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.”
Court documents say Sutton would prescribe opioids to patients over long periods of time, despite knowing that the therapy treatment wasn’t working.
According to court documents, Sutton would mix the opioids with other medications like benzodiazepines, which combined can lead to breathing problems, comas or death.
In some cases, investigators say Sutton increased patients’ dosages by more than 1000%, or more than 22 times the opioid levels that the CDC labels as an overdose risk.
Documents also say the doctor ignored signs of drug abuse in his patients.
He admitted to ignoring concerns from prescription drug management organizations, insurance companies and authorities, as well as requests from patients to lower drug dosages.
Sutton admitted to engaging in sexual acts with patients whom he prescribed the drugs.
He also sent dozens of oxycodone pills to a patient he was sexually involved with without a prescription, court documents say.
He pleaded guilty to making health care benefit programs pay for those drugs and office visits.
He will be sentenced May 23.
Anyone with information or who is willing to share their experience with Sutton’s practice of medicine can contact the Cleveland FBI at 216-583-5353.