Grand Rapids doctor charged for writing phony prescriptions

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids doctor is facing charges after allegedly writing illegitimate prescriptions in exchange for cash and drugs.

Dr. Richard Piazza is accused of writing false prescriptions for opioids to patients he never met.

A pharmacist noticed he was filling a lot of prescriptions Piazza had been writing for opioids and thought it was strange, because Piazza was a holistic medical marijuana doctor. Records show he was working at the Society of Healing Arts Institute, which provides medical marijuana certifications.

Investigators spoke to a man who said Piazza wrote him multiple false prescriptions in exchange for cash and methamphetamines without conducting a physical exam.

Court documents show Piazza surrendered his license in 1995 for overprescribing while working as a practitioner in Kansas. He also voluntarily surrendered his license to practice osteopathic medicine in 1996 because of an undisclosed disciplinary action in California.

In 2006, Piazza was disciplined by the Iowa Board of Medicine for failing to apply for reinstatement of his license and having a history of criminal charges.

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