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Local man convicted in opioid prescription conspiracy

Updated September 26, 2023 - 6:50 pm

A man described by federal prosecutors as a purported medical assistant was convicted of distributing a large amount of illegal prescriptions for opioids.

David A. Litwin, 64, was found guilty by a federal jury Friday after an eight-day trial in Las Vegas, according to a news release issued Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Nevada.

Prosecutors said in the news release that Litwin conspired with a licensed physician and others to sell prescriptions for drugs including oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax and Soma to people who had no legitimate medical reason to use the drugs.

Litwin helped operate a medical practice that purported to be a pain specialty center known as the New Amsterdam Medical Group over several years, prosecutors said.

“However, Litwin and his co-conspirators utilized that pain specialty center to sell fake prescriptions to hundreds of people, including multiple individuals who filled the prescriptions in order to sell opioids unlawfully on the secondary market,” the news release said.

According to Review-Journal coverage of Litwin’s legal proceedings through the years, Litwin was alleged to have been the “right-hand man” to Dr. Henri Wetselaar, a 93-year-old Las Vegas pain management practitioner who in 2017 received a 10-year sentence for penning prescriptions with no legitimate medical purpose and for laundering his profits.

The doctor died at home in April 2020 after he was released from prison during an appeal of his conviction.

“While we are disappointed in the jury’s verdict, we certainly respect their service, time and efforts in this case,” Litwin’s attorneys Lisa Rasmussen and Karen Connolly said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

“David Litwin, who earned an ordinary salary of approximately $3500 per month assisting Dr. Wetselaar, is now facing 20 years in prison because he worked for a doctor who may or may not have made good prescribing decisions,” Rasmussen and Connolly also said in the statement. They said they would “continue to advocate in court for our client through his sentencing and appeal proceedings.”

Litwin was originally sentenced to 20 years in 2017, but his conviction was overturned in 2020 after a federal appeals court ruled that the lower court had erred in dismissing a juror during his trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Litwin was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and seven counts of distribution of oxycodone. Sentencing is set for Dec. 21.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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