Felicia Donald

Felicia Donald

A Great Falls physician pleaded guilty to organizing illicit prescription distribution and health care fraud schemes earlier this month, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Officials say Dr. Felicia Lyn Donald, 65, practiced medicine at Sterling's For Women OB/GYN Associates, as well as NOVA Addiction Center. Per court documents, she operated a prescription "pill mill" from at least April 2016 until last month.

"Donald flagrantly violated her oath as a physician and put countless lives at risk," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger said in a prepared statement. "It is critical that those with the power to prescribe controlled substances be held accountable for their actions, and that putting the health and safety of the American public at risk is a federal crime."

Donald reportedly distributed more than 1.2 million milligrams of Schedule II opioids at or above the dosage guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prosecutors say these narcotics amount to a street value of more than $1.2 million. She also illegally distributed at least 325,190 milligrams of oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances, according to the Department of Justice.

In addition, Donald fraudulently prescribed illegally-distributed opioid pills to a close associate who reportedly sold them on the street for profit. She also issued prescriptions to that associate for alprazolam pills, which Donald acknowledged can prove fatal when combined with opioids. Further, she issued prescriptions for high doses of oxycodone to multiple pregnant women.

To conceal her illegal activity, Donald reportedly falsified medical records to make it appear as though people whom she never treated received examinations and medical care. She additionally engaged in Medicare fraud, prosecutors said.

On May 4, Donald pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, as well as health care fraud. Along with having surrendered her medical license, she faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

"[The] guilty plea illustrates the lure of greed and making money at the expense of those in need of treatment," Kevin Vorndran, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal Division, said in a prepared statement. "Removing even one doctor who diverts opioids for profit can make a significant and lasting impact in a community, especially in the lives of those affected by reckless prescribing and dispensing practices."

Donald is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 21. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raj Parekh and Monika Moore are prosecuting the case.

(45) comments


Milligrams, amount ordered by month, number of patients, medical documentation provided, so let's say 35 patients take schedule 2 meds in varying amount and I was on 75mcgx48hr=15 patches a month, or OxyContin 80mgs 3x a day= 60 pills, and if 30 people use this pain med because it works that 900 pills a month so without diagnosis and treatment plan the number of pills or patches means nothing medically, but using scare tactics why it just looks bad. Relevant information is left out. Doctors who prescribe pain meds do so for each individual patient as treatment for chronic 24/7 pain that can respond well depending on medication, patient response, and quality of life. The CDC which dealt ineffectually with COVID-19 because they were dealing with addiction, calling everyone an addict without any proper pain management training, and promotion of greed. The FDA is the authority on drugs, not the CDC. Stay in your lane as you've added to the problem by lack of understanding, training, and treatment. Numbers of anything mean nothing in a vacuum.


Milligrams only became a problem when the CDC guidelines were refused by the FDA.. if you google "CDC lied" check number of hits. Quite a large number. CDC was created for control infectious disease not manage pain. Everyone has seen how they were unprepared for pandemic. Let CDC focus on pandemic and stay out of pain management. The DEA is removing so many drs who have given their lives to treating patients who have incurable disease or cancer. I saw no mention of how many cancer patients nor rare disease patients she treated. Yes, US has more prescriptions because can't refill like in other nations. Thus drs must write new script each month. I had travel over 500 miles to see my Dr of 28 yrs. I lived in area for 12 years because they saved my life from rare disease, but now my life does not matter. I do not know truth of this Dr. But I've read charges where agents can't even spell name of medications. This needs to stop. Pain medicine cannot be based on milligrams because a 250 lb person would require more then 100 lb patient. People metabolize at different rates. Most patients are not examined to check metabolism. Pain patients are dying either by suicide or because of being under treated. I live in pure agony each day. It is only getting worse each day because of Drs forced to treat at levels which cannot control pain. We didn't ask for rare diseases, we inherited them. No one knows when their life will be suddenly changed to a life overcome with pain. A virus activated my disease Lupus. I'm scared many are going to be suffering following the pandemic. There won't be any Drs who can treat because of CDC guidelines weaponized against pain patients. If you want to see justice, people need to start speaking up for innocent pain patients who are unable to advocate for themselves. At 72, I'm now starting a over after being at a well known Clinic recognized nationally. I never thought I would die in the pain I watched my Mother die in. I pleaded for her to be given medication. But I will die in unbearable pain just as she did. Wake up America.


I have a severely disabled 34 year old daughter with spasticity so bad she has pulled her hip out of socket requiring multiple hip surgeries. She's a complete quadriplegic and has Osteoporosis (Osteopenia) so bad her ribcage has completely collapsed in. She has to take multiple opioid medications for severe non-stop #chronicpain. 9 per day to keep her "comfortable. It's bad enough we are losing her but to have to fight every single month to get her medications she has been on for years and the stress of loosing her Doctor to this fake #opioidcrisis is taking what little time we have left with her and turning it into a nightmare. Time we could be spending making happy memories.


Fake opioid crisis? Get real asshole.


Fake opioid crisis? Get real.


This is tragic. I am so sorry you and your daughter are suffering. Patients who have genuine need for pain medication should get it and should not be subject to arbitrary limits on dosage. Even if the dosage limits are "suggested" or "recommended" and not limited by law, physicians are terrified of being prosecuted and often leave their patients in pain, now. This leads many, sadly, either to take their own lives or to turn to street drugs for relief--which is a sad irony. Again, I am so sorry for your family's suffering.

Mark Ibsen MD

“Donald reportedly distributed more than 1.2 million milligrams of Schedule II opioids at or above the dosage guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prosecutors say these narcotics amount to a street value of more than $1.2 million. She also illegally distributed at least 325,190 milligrams of oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances, according to the Department of Justice.”

It should be noted that 1.2 million MILLIGRAMS

Is a crazy way to measure doses. Oxycodone comes as 5,10,20 milligrams.

They also don’t note how many patients were under treatment.

The typical patient in pain May take 10 milligrams 4 times daily.

That would be 40 milligrams, right?

30 days in a month:1200 mg a month


14,400 mg a year.

At this small dose,

83 patients could have been treated.

They don’t tell the denominator, you you as the reader cannot estimate how bad a criminal she is.

Ask yourself: why are they describing the crime by milligrams?

So they get a higher perceived number?

It’s like measuring income by the number of pennies you make per year.

It may look inflated at 1.2 million pennies a year, but you are actually in severe poverty at $12,000/year.

Tell the full story,



While you're doing all that fancy math, would you mind coming up with the number of deaths she caused and families that were ruined?

Richard Arjun Kaul, MD

Every doctor has patients that either die or suffer complications from their disease or treatment. Every lawyer or judge is involved in cases that send innocent people to jail. Every human makes mistakes. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. America professes to be a Christian country. What happened to forgiveness, even assuming she did anything wrong, which she did not. The prosecution against her is political and she is a political prisoner of war. How can any member of the public believe a government that violated international law by torturing people at Guantanamo Bay. The American public should recognize that their government is stuffed with criminals with all degrees. This doctor is innocent and the Public should be protesting, as they are with the young black man recently killed in Minneosota. Finally, people die and if any of her patients did die, which I don't think they did, then that was their time. This "War On Doctors" must and will be stopped.

Mark Ibsen MD

I don’t know the answer. Do you?


She’s an OB/GYN physician. She’s not trained to work as a pain management physician. What the heck is an OB/GYN doing prescribing those meds in those quantities? For the record, I know Dr. Donald. I have worked with her. Personally, I enjoyed working with her. This is unacceptable though.


OB do surgeries all the time. Births, hysterectomies, bladder tacks. And all of those will need opiate medication. You have no idea what you are talking about. You don’t need a specialist to treat pain. That’s just a way to make more money.

Mark Ibsen MD

What Quantities?

These are normal


Reporting the number of MILLIGRAMS She prescribed?

What’s next, the number of atoms?


Agree 100 percent. But from reading Kimberly Lancaster and Susan Alcantara the 2 office employees articles. They call it a pill mill but it looks like they were riding for their friends or family and also stated they did it for others that did not know they were forging the prescription .many ..under the physicians name. Sounds like this doctor was ruined by her staff stealing and forging prescriptions. .quite a few articles. When googling the employees they were not good citizens.

Seems the Susan girl has been doing it for years. Wow best to pay to have employees checked out



No damages or deaths thank god


I disagree Doctor. It would seem that if the original packaging of any substance is in milligrams, the reporting of totals should also be in milligrams precisely to avoid confusion and facilitate the math that you so ably provided. Anyone who wants to analyze the data has one less step to perform, a unit conversion. It prevents errors in translation, it facilitates analysis to calculate how many possible doses of 5, 10, 20 mg may have been prescribed, which would seem desirable and helpful in the investigation. You can always just divide the total by the number 5, 10, 20 and see how many possible premeasured doses were possibly prescribed, what pattern of distribution was being used, are the dosages consistent with the recommended use of the drug, if the patient should have been prescribed 5 mg. dosages at the beginning why would the pattern increase to 10 mg dosages and how many? All those things may be an indication of culpability and may be argued by both, the prosecution and the defense at trial. BTW it would sound a lot worse if it was reported in Kilos. Would you be saying the same thing if they were reporting that the doctor pleaded guilty to prescribing 1.2 kilos of opioids? The innuendo would be too obvious. You are right, the lack of a denominator is important in division but she accepted responsibility with a guilty plea and there are other factors in the scheme other than how much and how many patients. These cases never turn on just totals prescribed. Even one criminally intended prescription is wrong, regardless of the amount.


He did just that! Stated that a patient taking a small dose would take a certain amount in a year........... and even how many patients prescribed that same dose would exist.

Jonelle Elgaway

Once again this publication didn’t share how many patients this doctor was prescribing too. A little trick they use to make it seem like she was over prescribing to scare the public into thinking innocent doctors are rogue and killing their patients. This is called Fear Of Addiction. This must stop! Please tell the whole story and not slant it follow what your true agenda is, which is to scare the heck out of the public. Most patients dealing with rare/painful/incurable diseases are on 300-600 mme’s per day. These palliative care patients have been saftely taking these medications and amounts for several years in order to have a quality of life. I one of these patients and I’ve been a CPP for 26 years. Along with medications I work out 3 times/week, eat a anti inflammatory diet, stretch, use medication, get stem cell injections, and use a combination of medications. Without my medications I cannot get proper sleep, eat or get out of bed. Stop lying to the public. Shame on you!


The problem is also that she was selling the pills on the street through an associate. Completely unacceptable even if you think she wasn’t running a pill mill, which all the evidence points to that she was.

Mark Ibsen MD


Lemme get this straight?

Someone breaks into your home, steals a bunch of your stuff, then fences it. And you’re guilty for that how?

Jonelle Elgaway

Thank you Mark for explaining to the public the numbers and how this publication incorrectly portrayed what happened to this doctor. This just stop. It’s wrong and the sole purpose of this is to scare doctors into not properly taking care of their patients and scare the public that doctors are killing their patients due to more anti opioid phobia Fear Of Addiction BS. Patients are not addicts. Addicts don’t go to doctors for medications they use illicit street drugs and die from Illcit manufactured fentanyl.

When will this stop? It’s literally killing the 40 million chronic pain patients in the US struggling with cancers and rare/painful/incurable diseases. We just want to be able to sleep, eat and have a life that doesn’t involve being in bed 24/7.

Samantha Adcock

This is a very poor example of journalism.

Which is supposed to convey the facts in a Fair & Objective Manner.

While I realize that conveying they information in Pill Quantity & including the number of Patients treated would have required a bit more effort & possibly some research it's necessary to accurately convey the FACTS.

Fact 1.

The CDC Guidelines are just that "Guidelines" written for Primary Care Physicians.

They ARE NOT the Law even though the DEA likes to interpret them that way.

Did it not arouse any suspicions at all when DEA deviated from their standard method of reporting quantity f Opioids from Pill count to mg?🤔

Perhaps a bit of Investigative Journalism is in Order.

Any idea how many Dr's plead guilty on their lawyers advice & take a plea deal when they didn't actually commit a crime to prevent financial ruin?

Try performing a bit of due diligence & don't swallow what's being spoon fed to you via a Press Release😐


Thank you. I live in chronic pain some days are so bad that I can't even get out of bed except to get something to eat. My pain doctor recently placed an intrathecal pain pump to better manage my pain and hopefully reduce the amount of oral opiods I need to take The only opioid crisis I see , is that the people who truly need the medication aren't getting it because it going to the wrong people who use it for recreation or to feed their own addiction.

Mark Ibsen MD


I am sorry for your pain. I’m glad the pain pump is working for you. Many pain patients have had spinal cord stimulator‘s pain pumps radio frequency ablation and other procedures including multiple surgeries. Often times these people are left in chronic pain and have no other option but a palliative program. It seems obvious that irresponsible doctors have prescribed too many opiates and therefore we have a nightmare of opiate addiction. It’s plausible. It’s also false. Demonstrably false. Only 1% of patients treated for chronic pain with an opiate develop addiction. Addiction is multi factorial often genetic and culturally related. Pain is a random terrorist. Assuming that Dea is telling the truth about this epidemic, is resulting in 20 to 30,000,000 pain patients going without their medications. I have seen intrathecal pain patients being weaned to lower doses for no good reason other than the fact that everybody’s being weaned. What risk are you at for diverting the medicine that’s in your pump? Zero! But that is how crazy it’s gotten I pray for the safety of your doctor and your continued access to opiates


Hardworkingamerican, She's already been prosescuted. One can't enter a plea unless she's been prosecuted. I don't understand what you were trying to say.


Actually, if the parties reach a plea agreement there is no trial and neither the prosecution or the defense present a case.

David Dickinson

It's a shame that the biggest pusher of drug abuse in America is the medical profession.


This statement is a blanket characterization and is not correct. Not everyone in the medical profession is a "pill dispenser". There are some but most medical professionals are competent individuals who try to do right every day.

David Dickinson

When half of 65,000 Americans who die annually from drug overdoses are dying by the drugs that are prescribed by doctors, then we don't have a "bad apple" problem. We have a systemic medical profession problem that preys on people like street dealers do. And they do it for the same reason --money!


Per year, almost half a million people die from tobacco. 88,000 from alcohol. Almost 100,000,000 people in America were being treated for chronic pain. Of that percentage, 11 million admitted to misusing their prescriptions. Of the 11 million, 64% did so to get pain relief. The ones who admitted to being addicted were 286,000. 0.3% of the chronic pain community which makes up 1/3 of the US population. Opioids are clumped into one category. There is undoubtedly an illicit fentanyl/heroin epidemic but to assume chronic pain patients, who responsibly use their life saving medication, are addicts is the result of irresponsible media reports. I am just providing facts and hoping you will take the time to look into this. Thank you and have a great day.


That is incorrect. The most of the overdose deaths are from heroin or illicit fentanyl that is sold by you neighborhood drug dealer.

Mark Ibsen MD

You forgot:

Chinese Chemists producing elicit fentanyl analogues, as well as international drug cartels taking advantage of the glut of heroin. Ask yourself: why is heroin abundant and sheep?


Many Drs in this position do not have a choice but to plea! I know 2 Drs who were able to fight the DEA 1 on murder charges bc a pt committed suicide and LEFT A NOTE! Cost him over $500,000 of course he won but if he hadn’t had the money?? Another dr cost over $100,000 on charges brought by an agent who was after this dr for reasons no one knows. The judge in case jumped agent’s ass and still caused trouble for this dr for the next 2 yrs. So pls tell me more! Very few PILL MILLS left in the US just chronic pain pts wanting to relieve 24/7 never ending pain as our govt is steadily taking away many cpps 1 option of relief, pain meds!

More Cowbell

Hope she spends rest of her life in jail. Loudoun New DA is not tough on crime.




Can you give an example of how the new DA is not tough on crime?


Loudoun DA? Do you mean Commonwealth Attorney? Either way, this is a federal case and is being handled by the US Attorney. Maybe you mean the US Attorney isn't tough on crime?


We won't get to see how tough the new DA is, as the Feds have this case.


I believe that the article says the maximum sentence is 30 years in prison. The case was prosecuted by an Assistant U.S. Attorney so the Commonwealth wouldn't be involved here.


We live in The Commonwealth of Virginia. We don't have DA's so there's no DA to be either soft or hard on crime.

Regardless, as others have pointed out, the article makes clear that this is a federal case. She was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, AKA FBI. She filed her plea in a US court.


Hopefully she will actually get prosecuted for doing something so wrong. So many others just walk free. Price of liberalism.


Since there is a plea agreement in effect there won't be a trial. With no trial, there will be no prosecution nor defense case. Many people supposedly walk out of the legal system free, however, the legal system is full so plea bargains are part of a way to avoid wasting court time and ensuring that justice is served. There were probably sentencing guidelines that the U.S. District Court judge will use for sentencing (that is where the 30 years maximum came from).


Pure evil.


Bye Felicia!


So that is the face of the type of people that have caused rampant drug addiction.


No, that is not what causes addiction. Addiction only occurs in a small percentage of people and it is already there. When they take an addictive substance it triggers the disease. So neither the substance or the doctor causes addiction. It is already there. Some people use substances all their lives and never addict. That is not how it works .

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