EBENSBURG – A Richland Township pain-management doctor charged in March with prescribing methadone without a license and writing himself prescriptions entered a guilty plea Monday and was sentenced to five years of probation.
William C. Go Jr., 79, entered a plea to one count of administration of a controlled substance by a practitioner not in good faith, a felony, alongside his attorney, Art McQuillan.
President Judge Norman Krumenacker III sentenced Go to five years of supervision under Cambria County probation, along with a $500 fine and other court costs.
A pre-sentence memorandum says Go’s sentencing guidelines called for probation to nine months incarceration.
Go closed his Scalp Avenue office on March 13 and notified all patients that he is no longer practicing medicine or seeing patients and voluntarily surrendered his DEA registration.
In April, Go voluntarily surrendered his licenses to practice medicine and acupuncture.
The state attorney general’s office charged Go in early March with several counts, including delivery of a controlled substance, failing to keep records and administration of a controlled substance by a practitioner not in good faith.
An 11-page order from the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine accepting the voluntary surrender of Go’s medical license says Go admitted that he wrote numerous prescriptions for methadone for the sole purpose of treating drug addiction when he was not properly licensed to do so.
The state attorney general’s office also learned that Go had been writing himself prescriptions for controlled substances for several years.
A criminal complaint says Go allegedly had been prescribing methadone for 11 patients since at least January 2016. State investigators contacted several pharmacies where some of those patients had their methadone filled.
The pharmacies confirmed the prescriptions did not say “for pain” to indicate that they were written for drug addiction.
“To write a patient a prescription for methadone for pain treatment, Go would have to write “for pain” on the prescription, the complaint said.
The investigation started after investigators received a report that Go had allegedly requested a nude photo of a female patient to determine whether he would treat her for drug addiction.
According the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine order, Go provided an interview with agents from the state attorney general’s office and DEA and “admitted that he had received a naked photo of the patient, who he was treating for drug addiction.”
“(Go) acknowledged that he would only use a pulse oximeter in conducting his examination on the patient before prescribing the patient methadone,” the order says.