WI: Naturopathic Practitioner Sentenced to Twelve Months’ Imprisonment for Unlawful Prescribing of Controlled Substances

Healthcare Facility Rx Drug Diversion – Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances

John J. McGarry, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Milwaukee, and U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on May 12, 2023, Michele Nickels. was sentenced to12 months and one day of imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release. On Feb. 8, 2023, Nickels pled guilty to an information charging her with one count of unlawful distribution of controlled substances.

Nickels’ conviction stemmed from her practice, over at least a four-year period, of prescribing medications, including controlled substances such as Adderall, without a medical license or a DEA registration.

According to court documents, during the relevant time period, Nickels was a licensed Acupuncturist who had graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. Although Nickels owned and operated Self-Integrative Family Wellness Center between 2008 and 2022, Nickels was never licensed to practice medicine or prescribe medications in Wisconsin. Despite lacking the authority and licensure to prescribe medications or controlled substances, Nickels prescribed such substances over a four-year period by, among other things, using a DEA registration number that was not assigned to her.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller focused on the trust that society places in licensing authorities to impose meaningful requirements in order to ensure the protection of the public. Judge Stadtmueller noted that individuals, like Nickels, who are unable to conform their conduct to the requirements of their licensing authorities must face appropriate consequences.

The DEA Diversion Control Division investigated this case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie F. Stewart prosecuted.

Press Release


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