Doctor Removed From United Flight Traded Drugs For Sex, Made $234,664 Playing Poker
The identity of the doctor who was forcibly removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 is Dr. David Dao. He is a 69-year-old doctor who specializes in internal medicine. Dao studied at a medical school in Saigon, Vietnam in the 1970s before moving to the United States. His wife Theresa is a pediatrician who has a clinic in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, about 40 miles south of Louisville. He’s a father of five and a grandfather. Four of his five kids are doctors.
Dao had his medical license suspended for more than 10 years for illegally prescribing painkillers to patients. Dao was working as a pulmonologist in Elizabethtown when he was arrested in 2003. The same year, Dao was charged with 98 counts of illegally prescribing and trafficking prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet. Surveillance video captured Dao meeting patients and supplying them with painkillers, mostly hydrocodone. In one deal, Dao received $174 in exchange for pills.
The criminal complaint in the case went onto say that Dao would solicit homosexual relations with a male patient in exchange for a prescription for hydrocodone. The meetings occurred at motels and it was found that Dao had written out personal checks to the patient on more than one occasion.
The patient was arrested at a Walgreens Pharmacy and brought in for an interview, where he confessed about his and Dao’s relationship. The man was brought into police custody because he was calling the pharmacy to order prescriptions and saying that he was in fact Dao, picking up prescriptions under numerous aliases.
Dao was eventually arrested by police at a hotel room in Jefferson County on July 25, 2003. The room was under surveillance by the Louisville Police Department and Dao was seen with the male patient without a shirt on and with his pants undone. The patient gave Dao money for a bottle of pills and police stormed the room to arrest him upon the exchange.
Dao was officially charged with unlawful prescribing, trafficking in a controlled substance and complicity in obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit and pled not guilty to the charges.
Some of those charges ended up being dismissed, but Dao was eventually convicted on six counts. He was found guilty of complicity in obtaining a controlled substance (hydrocodone) by fraud and sentenced to two years, eight months in prison, a sentence that was suspended, and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Dr. Dao, who was seen in the viral video of him being forcibly dragged off the United Airlines flight to Louisville on Sunday, allegedly became sexually interested in a male patient whom he later made his office manager. According to documents filed by Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure last June, Dao was sexually involved with a patient who used to work for his practice and assisted police in building a case against him.
The New York Post reports that “the unidentified man then quit that job due to inappropriate remarks made by Dao, who then pursued him and arranged to give him prescription drugs in exchange for sexual acts, state the documents, filed last year.”
Dr. Dao surrendered his medical license. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure permitted Dao to resume practicing medicine in 2015 under certain conditions.
Here is the criminal complaint as well as other documents related to Dao losing his medical license.
Dao is an avid poker player who made nearly a quarter of million dollars in the World Series of Poker circuit. Dao joined the poker circuit in July 2006, one year after his medical license was suspended. In 2009, he finished second in a tournament and toke home more than $117k. His player profile shows total earnings of $234,664 in the WSOP. His most recent WSOP event that he played in was on January 17 at the Horseshoe Tunica Hotel and Casino in Mississippi where he walked away with $1,191.