Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

After Not Guilty Verdict, Doctor Hopes to Rebuild Practice

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A Columbus doctor says he wants to rebuild his practice after being found not guilty by a federal jury.

A U.S. District Court jury in Oxford deliberated more than two hours Tuesday evening before finding 63-year-old Dr. Michael White not guilty of seven counts of over prescribing diet bills. White was charged after a June 21, 2011 raid on his office by state and federal agents. The raid came after eight months of visits to his office by undercover agents.

His licenses to prescribe drugs were suspended and his offices shut down for a time before he was allowed to reopen on a limited basis. But the criminal charges , which carried substantial jail time, hung over his head.

“It’s been terrible. He had a busy practice that’s been shut down. He has, I’m sure, gone to bed every night wondering if he would be in prison sometime down the road. It’s been terrible but we decided to put our belief in the system, the system being 12 jurors, and the system worked. They found him not guilty and I’m sure he feels a lot better,” said Columbus attorney Rod Ray, who represents Dr. White.

Ray says they will immediately begin applying to the state licensing board and federal agencies to get White’s licenses fully restored.

While White works to restore his practice, another Columbus doctor is about to be sentenced for over prescribing Lortab, Percocet and Xanax.

The office of Dr. Mark Burtman also was raided June 21, 2011. He pleaded guilty this summer and will be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Oxford. The charges carry a total of 35 years in prison and almost $two millionĀ  in fines.