Sherry Matthews Editor
August 21, 2013
A Clinton doctor voluntarily surrendered his medical license late Monday afternoon, just hours after being arrested and jailed on four narcotics-related felonies.
Dr. Mouhamed Iyad Fakhri, who has an internal medicine practice at 620 College St., is facing felony counts of trafficking in opiates, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, practicing/dispensing medicines to others and failure to maintain records. He was jailed under a $150,000 bond and was released sometime Tuesday morning, Sampson Detention Center records show.
According to Clinton Police Chief Jay Tilley, an investigation of another prescription medication case led to Fakhri.
“We called the SBI in to assist,” Tilley said, noting that the drug investigation also involved the Drug Enforcement Administration and the N.C. Medical Board. “This is an ongoing investigation.”
Although few details were available on the physician’s arrest, police reports indicate that officers visited the doctor’s office last week to conduct interviews and collect evidence.
Among the things alleged is that Fakhri was dispensing prescribed medications — either as samples or given to patients who could not afford the prescriptions — that had been returned to him by other patients.
Fakhri was taken into custody just after 4:30 p.m. Monday. At 5:11 p.m., he submitted a voluntary surrender form to the N.C. Medical Board, giving up his right to practice medicine.
“I understand that I may not give medical advice or treatment to any person, with or without compensation; may not prescribe drugs; and may not otherwise engage in the practice of medicine within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat.90-11. … I understand that the surrender of my license does not preclude the Board from bringing charges against me at a later date,” the form signed by Fakhri states in part.
A Surrender Acknowledgement Letter was filed on the Medical Board’s website Tuesday, written to Fakhri. In that letter, executive director R. David Henderson noted that Fakhri would be required to reapply if he wanted to reinstate his license.
Although unable to discuss the Fakhri case, Jean Fisher Brinkley, director of the N.C. Medical Board’s Public Affairs Dept., said it is the Medical Board’s policy to investigate any licensee if the board has reason to believe that licensee has committed a criminal act.
Once a license has been surrendered, Brinkley said, the board would investigate, reviewing all pertinent materials and information, and then make its ruling on whether to take action or not. That process, she said, takes time, but state law requires it be done within six months.
Brinkley also said it was not uncommon for a physician to voluntarily surrender his or her license.
Fakhir is expected to make his first appearance in Sampson County District Court Friday, Aug. 30 to respond to those charges.