Tseng, who has remained in custody since March 2012, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when she returns to court in December for sentencing, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
The case comes amid what public health officials describe as a national epidemic in over-prescribing narcotic painkillers. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said last year the trend was fuelling nearly 17,000 overdose deaths annually, as well as a rise in heroin addiction.
Criminally prosecuting physicians for patients’ deaths is relatively rare, with one notable case being the 2011 involuntary manslaughter conviction of Dr Conrad Murray for giving pop star Michael Jackson a fatal dose of a surgical anaesthetic to help him sleep.
Licensed to practice in 1997, Tseng opened a storefront medical office in 2005 in Rowland Heights, a hillside community east of Los Angeles that is home to many upper-middle-class and wealthy immigrants from China, Taiwan and South Korea. Prosecutors said nine of her patients died during a span of less than three years, while Tseng raked in $5m from her clinic, dispensing potent, addictive medications to people who did not need them.
She was convicted in the 2009 deaths of three of them – Vu Nguyen, 28, Steven Ogle, 24, and Joseph Rovero, 21. None resided anywhere near Rowland Heights, and one, Rovero, was an Arizona State University student from the San Francisco area.Full report in The Huffington Post