Former Blacksburg doctor sentenced for oxycodone scheme, tampering with witnesses

By Heather Butterworth - Digital Content Producer

ROANOKE, Va. - A Blacksburg doctor will spend over a year behind bars after illegally obtaining oxycodone pills and telling witnesses not to talk to authorities. 

Frank Purpera Jr., 44, is the former owner of the Virginia Vein Institute in Blacksburg. He was sentenced this week to 20 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining 3,200 pills and lying about it to police.

Purpera was convicted on 67 federal drug charges back in February 2018. He was also convicted of omitting information on records and making a false statement. 

He has no record of what happened to those pills and claims they were used for procedures for his patients. Evidence presented at the trial proved this to be a false claim. He later claimed that he gave all of the pills to his wife, which would have also been illegal if true. 

Purpera tampered with witnesses, according to the Department of Justice. He told two of his employees to say, "I don't recall" if they were questioned. To drive his point across, he showed one of them a clip from the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street," in which a witness stated, "I don't recall" when questioned. 

In addition to the prison time, Purpera will have to pay a fine of $34,000 and a $6,800 special assessment. 

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