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Doctor facing federal lawsuit for pole barn liposuctions

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Posted at 12:18 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 17:48:45-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A South Haven doctor is facing a federal lawsuit for performing unlicensed liposuctions in a pole barn.

Federal prosecutors are seeking $10,000 from Dr. Bradley Bastow for violated the Controlled Substances Act and violating DEA regulations related to keeping records for controlled substances.

In an effort to recover civil penalties under the Controlled Substances Act, the United States of America is suing South Haven doctor $10,000 for performing unlicensed liposuctions in a pole barn.

Under a counsel led by Andrew Byerly Blige, United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, the U.S. contends that from April 11, 2014, to June 15, 2017, Dr. Bastow committed multiple violations of the Controlled Substances Act, as well as not following DEA-implemented regulations related to controlled substance recordkeeping.

Dr. Bastow was a cardiologist who operated a body laser sculpting business, Body Laser Sculpting Medical Spa, out of a pole barn, located at 6990 114th Ave. in South Haven.

According to DEA regulations, all licensed doctors are required to conduct inventory, keep a complete and accurate record of each controlled substance and maintain proper forms for a period of two years.

When asked for legal documentation by a Department of License and Regulartory Affairs investigator at an inspection in May 2017, Bastow was unable to produce a inventory of controlled substances and admitted to the LARA investigator that there was no record of an inventory.

Because of the lack of a log, Bastow was unable to account for approximately 3,170 dosage units of controlled substances, including 2,070 hydrocodone tablets and 1,100 phentermine tablets.

As part of the inspection, Bastow also admitted to taking tramadol for himself. Bastow lacked any documentation on when or how many tramadol pills he dispensed to himself for his personal use.

On April 20, 2017, law enforcement and emergency services were called to the site of Bastow's pole barn by a family member of a patient undergoing a liposuction procedure. The family member was concerned for the patient's safety because an unlicensed volunteer was assisting Bastow in the procedure.

Following a police report detailing unsanitary conditions and practices found at the pole barn that evening, LARA inspected Bastow's pole barn three weeks later.

During the inspection, the LARA investigator discovered numerous violations of state and federal law, including violations involving Bastow's controlled substance recordkeeping practice.

Following the inspection, LARA suspended Bastow's medical license on May 12, 2017. On Oct. 4, 2018, LARA and Bastow entered an agreement that included a two-year suspension of his medical license and a $10,000 fine.

Bastow is liable penalties in an amount to be determined at trial. The date of the trial is yet to be determined.