• Former Gaston Co. doctor sentenced to 3 years after trading pills for sex

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - A former Gaston County doctor will go to prison after trading prescription drugs for sex. 

    Michael Smith worked in Mount Holly and was sentenced to three years in prison after he admitted that while he was a doctor, he traded prescription drugs for sex with three patients and had submitted false Medicare and Medicaid claims to cover his tracks. 

    [RELATED: Former Gaston Co. doctor accused of trading pills for sex could escape decades in prison]

    In their Bill of Information, prosecutors said that in August 2017, then Dr. Smith prescribed one patient Percocet after a sexual encounter. 

    The same month, he had sex with a second patient while her 3-month-old son was in the room. 

    Then, he had had sex multiple times with a third woman over 10 months that year and prescribed her controlled substances without performing any medical examination.

    Prosecutors did not elaborate on the plea deal that Judge Robert Conrad questioned when he said that Smith had taken advantage of patients coming to him with drug addiction, a crime he called a betrayal of medical trust. 

    Channel 9's Mark Becker asked defense attorney Noell Tin for comment on the situation. 

    "We don't have any comment," Tin said. 

    [RELATED: Mount Holly doctor traded pain pills for sex acts]

    Officials said Smith will report to prison on his own so he can continue his own treatment for an addiction to alcohol. 

    None of Smith's victims were in court Thursday, but the prosecutor said they had all been informed about his plea deal and his sentence. 

    Smith lost his medical license more than a year ago and will not be able to practice medicine when he gets out of prison. 

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