Psychiatrist William Ellien sentenced to 30 months prison for prescribing violations

May 27, 2013

Former Savannah psychiatrist William George Ellien on Thursday was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for prescribing unlawful addictive drugs to patients.

Federal prosecutors said Ellien exchanged prescriptions for highly addictive drugs for sex with former patients, some of whom he met in strip clubs, between 2009 and 2012.

Ellien, 57, also must serve a three-year supervised release term after completing his custody sentence and must perform 40 hours of community service in the first year after his release from prison, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. ruled.

The judge said Ellien does not have the ability to pay a fine.

Moore noted that Ellien has surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration license to prescribe drugs, as well as his medical license, but ordered Ellien to surrender any other medical licenses he still holds.

Moore imposed a three-year supervised release term instead of the five years available under sentencing guideline.

“He has lost his right to practice medicine. He has lost his job,” Moore said.

Ellien, wearing a gray-striped jail suit, told Moore, “I deserve incarceration as punishment. … I’m aghast by my conduct.

“I have lost my license. I have left my family destitute . … I’m not a bad person, but I have done wrong.”

Defense attorney George Asinc called the case “highly unusual,” adding he had never seen a man “lose as much as this man lost.”

He urged Moore to allow some leniency in his sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gilluly called Thursday “a sad day for the defendant and his family.”

He said Eillien would meet women in strip clubs and they ultimately trusted him.

But, Gilluly said, “Some of these women were manipulative — not angels.”

The pre-sentencing investigation by probation officers detailed numerous drug prescriptions by Ellien, in one instance detailing more than nine pages of prescriptions given to one woman.

The prosecutor said there was evidence Ellien engaged in similar conduct in Mississippi before coming to Savannah.

But he also pointed out that Ellien was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and almost immediately admitted wrongdoing in the case.

Source: Jan Skutch, "Savannah psychiatrist sentenced in drugs-for-sex scheme," Savannah Morning News, May 23, 2013.


No comments.

Post your own comment here:

Your Comment