The second of two doctors convicted of overprescribing highly-addictive painkillers through their practice in Mobile is now behind bars after violating conditions of his bond agreement.Dr. John Patrick Couch, 51, was booked into the Mobile County Metro Jail on April 4, though he was initially expected to avoid incarceration ahead of his May 25 sentencing hearing.
His co-defendant and former business partner, Dr. Xiulu Ruan, wasn’t so lucky and was immediately taken into custody by U.S. Marshal’s after the pair’s conviction Feb. 23.
Couch was spared the same fate because of a medical condition the court ruled to be an “extenuating circumstance.”
However, in a sealed document filed by prosecutors last month, Coach was accused of violating the conditions of his release — allegations he didn’t contest at an April 4 hearing on the matter.
U.S. Judge Ginny Granade ordered Couch be taken into custody immediately following that hearing, and according to Metro records, he was accepted as a prisoner around 3:30 p.m.
In her ruling on the issues, Grande said there was “clear and convincing evidence” Couch violated his conditions of release and “no set of conditions that [could] reasonably assure” he would appear for his scheduled sentencing hearing next month.
Eric Day, a public information officer with United States Attorney’s office in Mobile confirmed the hearing and Couch’s arrest but offered no explanation as to what prompted the government’s petition seeking the revocation of Couch’s bond.
In February, a jury found Ruan and Couch guilty of 19 federal charges ranging from conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, health care fraud, violating anti-kickback statutes and violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations [RICO] Act — making the doctors the first medical professionals to be convicted of RICO charges in U.S. history.
Their conviction will likely result in significant prison sentences, which will be determined on May 25. The pair has also lost their medical licenses and agreed to forfeit millions worth of liquid assets, automobiles and real estate.
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