James Shortt, M.D. Sentenced to Prison


Stephen Barrett, M.D.
April 20, 2008

In November 2005, James
Michael Shortt, M.D., who practiced “longevity medicine” in
Greenville, South Carolina, was charged with 43 counts of improperly
distributing growth hormones and other steroid drugs. Some counts state
that he distributed steroid drugs “not for a legitimate purpose” and “outside
the usual course of professional practice.” Other counts stated
that he dispensed human growth hormone “for “a use . . . other
than the treatment of a disease or other recognized medical condition.” Press
reports indicate that some of the recipients were professional football
players. In March 2006, as shown below, Shortt pleaded guilty to one
count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and human growth
hormone. The court sentenced him two 12 months and
one day in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release.
He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $100 special assessment.

Based on Shortt’s guilty plea, the
South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners revoked his license
and fined him $10,000, the
largest fine it was permitted to impose. Shortt was also sued by the survivors
of two patients he treated with hydrogen peroxide. One
had multiple sclerosis
. The
other had prostate cancer
. The case was settled with payment of
$200,000, which was the limit of his malpractice policy.


IN THE COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COLUMBIA DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

v.

JAMES M. SHORTT


 

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CRIMINAL NO.3:05-1011

AMENDED
PLEA AGREEMENT

AGREEMENT made this G6th day of March 2006, between the United States of
America, as represented by United States Attorney REGINALD I. LLOYD, Assistant
United States Attorneys Winston D. Holliday, Jr., and Jane B. Taylor; the
Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, and Defendant’s Attorney, Allen Burnside, Esquire.

IN CONSIDERATION of the mutual promises made herein, the parties agree as
follows:

1. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, agrees to plead guilty
to Count I of the Superseding Indictment now pending, FED. R. CRIM. P. 11(a),
which charges, “Conspiracy to Distribute Anabolic Steroids and Human Growth
Hormone,” a violation of Title 21 United States Code, § 846.

In order to sustain its burden of proof as to this offense, the Government
is required to proved the following:

Count 1 – Conspiracy to Distribute Anabolic Steroids and Human Growth
Hormone 21 U.S.C. § 846:

FIRST that there was an agreement between two or more persons to distribute
the drugs listed in the Superseding Indictment;

SECOND that the defendant knew of the conspiracy; and,

THIRD that the defendant knowingly and voluntarily became a part of the
conspiracy.

Possible Penalties for 21 U.S.C. § 846:

Fine of $250,000
Imprisonment for 5 years
Supervised Release 2 years
Special Assessment $100

2. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, agrees to provide detailed financial
information to the United States Probation Office prior to sentencing. The
defendant further agrees to enter into the Bureau of Prisons Inmate Financial
Responsibility Program if sentenced to a term of incarceration with an unsatisfied
monetary penalty. The defendant further understands and agrees that any monetary
penalty imposed is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

A. Fines. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, understands and agrees that
the court may impose a fine pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3571 and
3572, which fine may be due and payable immediately after sentencing regardless
of whether the defendant has the money to pay the fine. In the event the
defendant does not have the money, the defendant understands and agrees
that the court may establish a payment schedule, taking into account the
defendant’s present and future means of earning money, or of obtaining
money to pay the fine.

B. Restitution. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, will make full restitution
under 18 U.S.C. § 3556 in an amount to be determined by the court
at the time of sentencing, which amount is not limited to the count(s)
to which the defendant pled guilty, but will include any uncharged relevant
conduct. The defendant understands and agrees that full payment of restitution
is due immediately after sentencing unless the court provides, in the interest
of justice, for payment on a date certain or in installments over the shortest
time in which full payment can be reasonably made. The defendant further
understands and agrees that the government will seek enforcement of any
order of restitution, and reserves the right to petition the court at a
later date to increase the amount of any installment payments toward restitution
in the interest of justice.

C. Special Assessment. Pursuant to l8 U.S.C. § 3013, the defendant
must pay a special assessment of $100.00 for each felony count for which
he is convicted. This special assessment must be paid at or before the
time of the guilty plea hearing.

3. Provided the Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, complies with all the terms
of this Agreement, the United States agrees to move to dismiss the remaining
counts of the Superseding Indictment at sentencing. The Defendant understands
that the Court may consider these dismissed counts as relevant conduct pursuant
to § 1 B 1.3 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. FED.R.CRIM.P.
11(c)(1)(A).

4. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, understands that the matter of sentencing
is within the sole discretion of the Court and that the sentence applicable
to Defendant’s case will be imposed after the Court considers as advisory
the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines, Application Notes and
Policy Statements, as well as the factors set forth in Title 18, United States
Code, Section 3553(a). The Defendant also understands that Defendant’s sentence
has not yet been determined by the court, and that any estimate of a probable
sentencing range Defendant may have received from Defendant’s attorney, the
Attorneys for the Government of the United States Probation Office is only
a prediction, not a promise, and is not binding on the Government, the Probation
Office or the Court. The Defendant further understands that the Government
retains the right to inform the Court of any relevant facts, to address the
Court with respect to the nature of the offense, to respond to questions
raised by the Court, to correct any inaccuracies or inadequacies in the presentence
report, to respond to any statements made to the Court by or on behalf of
the Defendant and to summarize all evidence which would have been presented
at trial to establish a factual basis for the plea, FED. R. Crim. P. 11(b
)(3).

5. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, agrees that all facts that determine
his offense level under the Guidelines and pursuant to any mandatory minimum
(including facts that support any specific offense characteristic or other
enhancement or adjustment) can be found by the court at sentencing by a preponderance
of the evidence standard and the court may consider any reliable evidence,
including hearsay. By executing this Agreement, the Defendant understands
that he waives any argument that facts that determine his offense level under
the Guidelines and pursuant to any mandatory minimum should be alleged in
an indictment and found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

6. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, represents to the court that he has had
the services of an attorney the Defendant believes to be competent; that
the Defendant has met with his attorney on a sufficient number of occasions
and for a sufficient period of time to discuss the Defendant’s case and receive
advice; that the Defendant has been truthful with his attorney and related
all information of which the Defendant is aware pertaining to the case; that
the Defendant and his attorney have discussed possible defenses, if any,
to the charges in the Superseding Indictment, including the existence of
any exculpatory or favorable evidence or witnesses, discussed the Defendant’s
right to a public trial by jury or by the Court, the right to the assistance
of counsel throughout the proceedings, the right to call witnesses in the
Defendant’s behalf and compel their attendance at trial by subpoena, the
right to confront and cross-examine the government’s witnesses, the Defendant’s
right to testify in his own behalf, or to remain silent and have no adverse
inferences drawn from his silence; and that the Defendant, with the advice
of counsel, has weighed the relative benefits of a trial by jury or by the
Court versus a plea of guilty pursuant to this Agreement, and has entered
this Agreement as a matter of the Defendant’s free and voluntary choice,
and not as a result of pressure or intimidation by any person.

7. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, understands that the obligations of the
Attorneys for the Government within the Plea Agreement are expressly contingent
upon the Defendant’s abiding by federal and state laws and complying with
the terms and conditions of any bond executed in this case.

8. In the event that the Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, fails to comply with
any of the provisions of this Agreement, it is expressly understood that
the United States will have the right, at its sole election, to void all
of its obligations under this Agreement and the Defendant will not have any
right to withdraw his plea of guilty to the offense(s) enumerated herein.

9. The Defendant, JAMES M. SHORTT, waives all rights, whether asserted directly
or by a representative, to request or receive from any department or agency
of the United States any records pertaining to the investigation or prosecution
of this case, including without limitation any records that may be sought
under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, or the Privacy
Act of 1974,5 U.S.C: § 552a.

10. The parties hereby agree that this Plea Agreement contains the entire
agreement of the parties; that this Agreement supersedes all prior promises,
representations and statements of the parties; that this Agreement shall
not be binding on any party until the Defendant tenders a plea of guilty
to the court having jurisdiction over this matter; that this Agreement may
be modified only in writing signed by all parties; and that any and all other
promises, representations and statements, whether made prior to, contemporaneous
with or after this Agreement, are null and void.

Date: 3-6-06

__________________________
JAMES M. SHORT , Defendant

__________________________
ALLEN BURNSIDE
Attorney for the Defendant

REGINALD I. LLOYD
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

BY: __________________________
WINSTON D. HOLLIDAY
Assistant U.S. Attorney

BY: __________________________
JUNE B. TAYLOR
Assistant U.S. Attorney

This page was posted on April 20, 2008.