A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a former Colorado doctor who resides in Manhattan to more than seven years in federal prison for illegally distributing controlled substances and money laundering.
John Littleford, 73, will serve 87 months at a to-be-determined facility and will be placed on three years of post-release supervision.
According to a report from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, Littleford prescribed large amounts of opioids to patients without a diagnosis or with little documentation of necessity at his clinic in Parker, Colorado. It also says he often gave prescriptions to patients well before their prescription ran out and did not reduce the amounts of controlled substances to patients who were physically deteriorating.
It is unclear why he moved to Manhattan. An online search of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts licenses revealed that he never held a license in the state.
The report says Littleford advertised himself as a practitioner in pain management but did not have any certification in the field or completed a medical residency related to pain management.
The Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Littleford in 2012 after doctors and pharmacists in the Denver area expressed concerns about his prescribing practices while police repeatedly encountered his patients. Littleford surrendered his DEA registration and medical license later that year.
Littleford pleaded guilty to distributing controlled substances after he prescribed a patient 840 oxycodone 30 milligram tablets, 360 Percocet tablets and several other opioids. His notes for that patient included a diagnosis that listed a question mark. The patient died a month later from oxycodone toxicity.
He also pleaded guilty to money laundering to promote illegal distribution of controlled substances at his clinic.