Prince's Doctor Fined $30K for Illegal Drug Prescription

By Molly Zilli, Esq. on April 20, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Many Prince fans are still reeling from the singer's death two years ago. Whether your favorite Prince song was "Purple Rain," "When Doves Cry," or a lesser known hit, the news of his death at age 57 was a shock. While investigators are still deciding whether or not to charge anyone with a crime in that tragedy, one of Prince's doctors has been fined $30K for writing what authorities call an illegal prescription.

Allegations of Illegal Opioid Prescriptions

Minnesota doctor, Michael Todd Schulenberg was accused of illegally prescribing oxycodone to Prince a week before he died. However, he allegedly wrote it for Prince's bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, to protect Prince's privacy, according to search warrants. According to the Controlled Substances Act, it's illegal to write a prescription for someone under a different person's name.

The settlement does not mention Prince or the ongoing investigation into his death. However, Prince's autopsy says that the musician died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, another type of opioid for which he did not have a prescription. Additionally, some say the famed artist was struggling with an addiction to the powerful drugs.

Will Pay Fine, Will Not Admit Guilt

Schulenberg's settlement states that it is not "an admission of facts nor liability," and prosecutors say that he is not currently the target of any criminal investigation. But Prince's former doctor has agreed to pay the $30,000 fine within 30 days to settle the federal civil violation. He also agreed to keep detailed logs of his controlled substances prescriptions and to allow the DEA access to his prescribing history whenever they ask for it.

The DEA says they will not revoke the doctor's DEA registration (which allows him to write prescriptions) unless he fails to comply with the settlement. And so far, the state medical board has not taken any disciplinary actions against him either.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard