PENSACOLA, Fla. (WTXL) A Freeport physician has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Robert L. Ignasiak, Jr., 58, was sentenced yesterday on charges of health care fraud, illegally distributing controlled substances, and failing to appear for trial.
Between 2001 and 2005, Ignasiak freely presribed highly addictive controlled substances such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, diazepam and alprazolam. The dosages and combinations caused patients to abuse those substances and become addicted to drugs.
He continued to prescribe the substances even after he become aware that patients were abusing them. This practice resulted in the death of several of his patients.
Ignasiak was initially indicted on these charges in 2008. he was convicted of 12 counts of health care fraud and 31 counts of illegally distributing controlled substances.
in 2012, hig convictions were reversed on appeal and he was released from custody pending a retrial.
in October 2012, he faked his on suicide and fled. He was later arrested in Coral Springs, Florida in September 2013 and his retrial had been scheduled for december 2, 2013.
In October 2013, Ignasiak pled guilty to 12 counts of health care fraud, 29 counts of illegally distributing controlled substances, and one count of failing to appear for trial.
The charges were the result of a four-year joint investigation by several Florida agencies.