Arraignment for Doctor Accused in Prescription Drugs Overdose Deaths

Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng is expected to appear in court on Friday

Arraignment is scheduled for a Rowland Heights doctor charged with second-degree murder and other counts in the prescription drug overdose deaths of three male patients in their 20s.

Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, 42, is expected to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Tseng was arrested Thursday on a felony complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

She was taken into custody by state Medical Board investigators a day after prosecutors filed the felony complaint for her arrest.

Tseng is being held on $3 million bail.

“Deaths from overdoses of prescription drugs now outnumber deaths from traffic accidents in the United States,” said District Attorney Steve Cooley in a statement. “Prescription drug overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions. Enough is enough. Doctors are not above the law."

Besides the murder charges, Tseng is also charged with one felony count of fraudulently prescribing drugs and 20 felony counts of prescribing drugs without a legitimate purpose.

Two of the prescription counts involve two of the patients who died.

The other counts involve victims who survived or for prescriptions written for undercover officers.

Tseng, licensed to practice in 1997, opened a storefront medical office in Rowland Heights in 2005.

The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation in 2008 after a pharmacy reported overlapping customers.

Authorities went undercover and secured a search warrant at Tseng’s clinic.

The DEA revoked Tseng’s license to prescribe drugs.

Her husband, also a physician, continues to operate the clinic, Advanced Care AAA Medical.

Tseng is charged in the drug overdose deaths of Vu Nguyen, 29, of Lake Forest, on March 2, 2009; Steven Ogle, 25, of Palm Desert, on April 9, 2009; and Joseph Rovero III, 21, a University of Arizona student from San Ramon, on Dec. 18, 2009.

All were patients of Tseng, who prescribed drugs for the three young men.

If convicted, Tseng faces up to 45-years-to-life in state prison, prosecutors said.

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