News Releases

February 5, 2016: Doctor Sentenced For Three Murders in Prescription Drug Overdose Case

Contact: 
Greg Risling, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A Rowland Heights doctor was sentenced today to 30 years to life in state prison for prescribing large amounts of addictive and dangerous drugs to patients with no legitimate need, three of whom died of overdoses, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Hsiu Ying “Lisa” Tseng, 46, was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli.

In October, a jury found Tseng guilty of three counts of second-degree murder, 19 counts of unlawful controlled substance prescription and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in case BA394495.

Tseng was convicted for the deaths of Vu Nguyen, 28, of Lake Forest; Steven Ogle, 24, of Palm Desert; and Joseph Rovero, 21, an Arizona State University student from San Ramon.

Nguyen died March 2, 2009. Ogle died a month later on April 9 and Rovero died on Dec. 18 in the same year. All were patients of Tseng, who prescribed a myriad of drugs for the three young men.

Tseng, licensed to practice in 1997, opened a storefront medical office in Rowland Heights in 2005. During the time frame when nine of her patients died in less than three years, Tseng took in more than $5 million from her clinic and continued dispensing potent and addictive drugs unabated.

Deputy District Attorneys John Niedermann and Grace Rai of the Major Narcotics Division prosecuted the case.

Niedermann told jurors in closing arguments that Tseng sometimes kept no medical records of visits or patient prescriptions. In many instances, she faked medical records when authorities began investigating, he said.

Tseng has remained in custody since March 2012.

The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation in 2008 after a pharmacy reported overlapping customers. The lead investigative agency was the California Medical Board.

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About the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation. Her staff of nearly 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators and 800 support staff members is dedicated to seeking justice for victims of crime and enhancing public safety. Last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office prosecuted more than 71,000 felony defendants and nearly 112,000 misdemeanor defendants.