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Doctor faces three murder charges over painkiller prescriptions

March 1, 2012 |  1:35 pm


Dr. Hsiu-Ying 'Lisa' TsengA Rowland Heights doctor accused of prescribing narcotic painkillers and other potent drugs to patients who allegedly had no legitimate need for the medications was charged with murder Thursday in connection with the overdose deaths of three of her patients.

Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng,  42, was arrested and led in handcuffs from her office in a strip mall off the 60 Freeway. She is being held on $3-million bail and is expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday, according to authorities.

Tseng had been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for years, but was ultimately charged by Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.

“Dr. Feelgoods who knowingly over-prescribe drugs for no medical reason other than someone asks for the drugs and pays the doctor a staggering amount of money will be dealt with severely,” Cooley said in a prepared statement.

Tseng is charged with three counts of second-degree murder stemming from the overdose deaths of patients Joseph Rovero, 21; Steven Ogle, 25, and Vu Nguyen, 29.

The Times published articles in 2010 linking Tseng to multiple overdose deaths, including those with which she was charged today. The doctor is also charged with 20 counts of prescribing drugs to patients who had no legitimate medical need.

Tseng declined comment to a Times reporter as she was being led from her office.


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Photo: Dr. Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, 42, is escorted out of her Rowland Heights clinic by law enforcement officials. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times