Patients coming in to Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga’s office didn’t need medical examinations for prescriptions of powerful drugs and in one instance, an X-ray of a patient’s dog sufficed, according to Glendora Police.
Glendora Police served two search warrants this morning on Atiga, a 69-year-old physician from Glendora. Atiga is suspected of illegally prescribing various addictive drugs to patients without need for the medication and pocketing the money.
Glendora Police arrested Atiga at around 10 a.m. at his office at 402 W. Baseline Rd. where police served one of two search warrants on Atiga. Police were also at Atiga’s home in Glendora collecting evidence.
According to Captain Tim Staab, for the past two months, Glendora Police received tips indicating that Atiga had been prescribing highly addictive medications such as oxycodone, vicodin, xanax and percocet to patients for $200 to $400 in cash, with Atiga allegedly pocketing the money.
On three different occasions, undercover officers went to Atiga’s office seeking prescriptions. On one occasion, Atiga asked the undercover officer to supply him X-rays for the medication.
The officer returned and supplied him X-rays of her dog, and although Atiga examined the X-rays, he still wrote her a prescription for painkillers for a cash price.
“Either Sparky the dog, you know, really, really, badly needs percocet or this doctor was a petty drug dealer masquerading as a physician,” said Staab.
“Reportedly he has been taking cash money for an awfully long time,” he said.
Atiga also required patients to tip his receptionist $50, said Staab.
When confronted by reporters during his arrest, Atiga had no comment, although claimed to "not know what these charges are."
Atiga will be charged with two health and safety code violations, including prescribing highly addictive medication “not in the course of professional treatment.” Atiga faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 if convicted.
According to Staab, Atiga has a number of disciplinary actions against him from the Medical Board of California, including fraud. Atiga’s physican’s license had been previously revoked and according to the board, Atiga is currently on probation.
Editor’s note: The suspect in this story is a distant relative to the author, but is not personally known by the author.