A Savannah psychiatrist has pled guilty in federal court to felony charges of distributing drugs to his customers without a legitimate medical purpose.
57 year old William Ellien made his plea before U.S. District Judge William Moore, Jr. Ellien is a former medical director at Memorial Health.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says that according to evidence presented at the hearing, Ellien exchanged prescriptions for very addictive prescription drugs for sex acts with various women from 2009 through 2012. Ellien remains in federal custody and is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. No sentencing date has been set.
U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said, “This doctor violated his oath, preyed upon patients, and turned into a common criminal, all for his own personal gratification. Whether street pushers or physicians, all drug dealers can expect that justice will be swift and the punishment will be severe.”
Memorial Health is facing a lawsuit because of the case. It was filed on behalf of several women with the suit claiming that “Ellien preyed on vulnerable women and used his position at Memorial Health.” The suit claims that women visited Dr. Ellien on the Memorial Health campus to receive prescriptions.