Government Prosecutors Request 70 Months Prison for Dr. Vinay Bararia
On June 26, 2012, a federal Grand Jury returned an indictment, charging Bararia with seven counts with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
On March 2, 2012, Bararia made his initial appearance before the United States Magistrate and was ordered released. On May 3, 2012, Bararia was arrested for violating the conditions of his pretrial release by prescribing controlled substances. On May 16, 2012, Bararia was admonished by Judge and released. On October 18, 2012, Bararia appeared for his second revocation hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Ferenbach for continuing to prescribe controlled substances, and was ordered detained.
This case involves a series of sales of hydrocodone and oxycodone in from 2011 to 2012 to a DEA undercover agent (UC). During this time the defendant, who was a doctor and the Chief of Internal Medicine at Centennial Hills Hospital, used patients’ identities and insurance information without their permission in order to write and fill prescriptions for controlled substances, which he then sold to an undercover agent.
In less than 12 months Dr. Bararia sold over 4,000 hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to an undercover agent for over $49,000. The last sale was supposed to be for the purchase of additional 1800 oxycodone pills for $14,850. On March 1, 2012, Dr. Vinay Bararia was arrested.
Prosecutors have argued that Vinay Bararia knowingly and voluntarily chose to sell hydrocodone and oxycodone to a DEA undercover agent. In so doing he prioritized financial gain over the health and well-being of the public, despite his professional awareness of the devastating effects of abuse of these opioids.
On April 7, 2014, Bararia attorneys filed a Sentencing Memorandum asking the Court to reduce the Total Offense Level. Dr. Bararia’s attorneys have requested that the Court sentence the defendant to home confinement. Defense claims that the downward variance and departure is supported by Bararia’s diminished mental capacity, family circumstances, faith, financial situation and remorse for his criminal conduct etc.
Recently, Court ordered a Psychiatric evaluation of Dr. Vinay Bararia and was housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles. Dr. James Bernhardt, a Forensic Psychologist with the Bureau of Prisons at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, California, evaluated Bararia and concluded in a report dated July 11, 2014, that Dr. Bararia is not bipolar and does not have a diminished mental capacity. Further, Dr. Bararia’s current and recent mental health issues are a “reaction to the severe stressor of his legal situation, rather than the symptoms of a preexisting, severe mental disorder.”
In their written sentencing requests Prosecutors have submitted compelling arguments that Dr. Bararia is not bipolar and does not have a diminished mental capacity. Additionally, Dr. Bararia does not have exceptional family circumstances and he clearly deviated from his faith in engaging in illegal acts. Although the family has certainly suffered financial hardship as a result of Bararia’s profligate spending and present inability to earn income, this hardship does not rise to the level of “extraordinary,” because all families suffer economic hardship when the provider is incarcerated. Moreover, Dr. Bararia candidly admitted to investigating officers that due to dire financial circumstances, he turned to selling fraudulently obtained controlled substances in order to aid his personal and professional financial situation. Based on all the evidence, the prosecutors are pushing for 70 months in prison for Dr. Vinay Bararia.
Dr. Bararia’s sentencing is scheduled for Monday, August 11th, 2014. More on Dr. Vinay Bararia sentencing, please visit