A former Indiana doctor will spend the next seven to 15 years in a state prison for trading prescriptions and money in exchange for sex with two female patients addicted to painkillers
Tahir Mir, 62, also was ordered to pay fines totaling $75,000. In sentencing Mir, Indiana County President Judge William Martin said he considered Mir’s many years of service to the community. But, he said, he also took into account the harm Mir’s actions caused the community. Martin told Mir that he violated his professional ethics and victimized the women for his own benefit.
A jury convicted Mir in June of counts of writing unlawful prescriptions and conspiracy to write unlawful prescriptions. Martin imposed concurrent sentences of six to 15 years and seven to 15 years in prison.
The prosecutor, Senior Deputy Attorney General Mark Serge, had sought — and won — enhancements to the penalty as well as the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences. He had argued they applied because the crimes played out at Mir’s office, which was within 1,000 feet of Horace Mann Elementary School and because of the amount of painkillers for which Mir wrote prescriptions.
In considering the sentence, Martin heard from one of the patients who had cooperated with investigators in the case. Jennifer Lawson told Martin that instead of her offering help when she needed it, Mir took advantage of the situation.
“Knowing that I was an addict, you not only supplied me with my drug of choice, you took of advantage of me at one of the weakest points in my life,” she said. “You should have offered me help, but instead you chose to enable my drug use for your personal and financial gain.”
Lawson said she has since managed to stop using and will celebrate a year of sobriety in October.
Mir, speaking on his behalf, apologized to his family before Martin but maintained his innocence. He has said the trysts with the women were affairs, but that the prescriptions were legitimate.
Martin told Mir he should take responsibility for his actions.
After learning his sentence, Mir was escorted from the courtroom by Indiana County sheriff’s deputies. He will be transported to an intake facility before being assigned to a state correctional institution.
Mir’s practice, the Indiana Walk-In Clinic, was in a building at the corner of Philadelphia and South Fifth streets in Indiana. It has since been demolished, and Mir has surrendered his medical license.
Local authorities had long been suspicious of Mir’s practice, in part because of the vehicle and foot traffic the clinic generated and the problems that resulted.
In fact, Indiana Borough police Detective John Scherf, who testified in support of the penalty enhancement, said he went back through police records and counted 22 drug-related incidents leading to charges that occurred at two establishments near the clinic.
Those incidents occurred from Jan. 1, 2011, to the time of Mir’s arrest in October of that year. In the months following closure of the practice, Scherf said he counted four incidents leading to charges.
Scherf said many of the people involved in those incidents were found to be either patients of Mir’s or drivers who were taking people to see Mir.