Vinay Bararia – Sentencing Postponed
Defendant Vinay Bararia to remain in custody. Once again sentencing is postponed to September 16, 2014.
During the sentencing hearing, both, the defense and prosecuting attorney’s brought in witnesses in the ongoing case of Vinay Bararia selling over 4,000 hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to an undercover DEA agent for over $49,000. During the hearing, defendant Dr. Vinay Bararia was present in custody.
Dr. Bararia’s attorney Ms. Kathleen Bliss requested her witnesses be allowed to remain in the courtroom, while US prosecutors objected to the presence of witnesses in the courtroom. The Court decided the expert witnesses to remain in the courtroom, while the fact witnesses to be excluded from the courtroom. The Court advised both the counsels’ that the Court did not intend to sentence Dr. Bararia on August 11th – the first day of sentencing hearing, and will continue the sentencing to evaluate the evidence. DEA Agent and a detective were called on behalf of the Government to testify.
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.
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.
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