P[IKEVILLE – Federal indictments charge several pain clinic owners and doctors with making millions by illegally distributing prescription drugs to Kentuckians.
Between Friday and late Thursday afternoon, five indictments have been unsealed charging 22 defendants, including five pain clinic owners and six doctors, with offenses related to prescription drugs, money laundering and health care fraud.
One of the indictments alleges that Houston, Texas doctor Linda J. Roos, 46, conspired to unlawfully distribute pills to Pike County residents.
Dr. Roos allegedly prescribed more than 125,000 Oxycodone pills from September 2006 until July 2011. She allegedly faxed many of her prescriptions to a pharmacy in Pikeville so the patients who visited her could pick up the pills on their way home from Texas. To limit traveling, Roos often allowed patients to obtain a prescription by faxing her a form.
Dennis and Helen Varney, patients of Dr. Roos, were charged with conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs. Authorities found hundreds of Oxycodone pills while searching the Varney’s residence. Dennis Varney, 62, is charged with multiple counts of distributing Oxycodone pills.
In a second indictment, a Pikeville pharmacy manager, Beverly Lockhart, 58, allegedly conspired with Pikeville doctor Thad Manning, 46, to illegally sell prescription drug samples.
In the same indictment, Lockhart is charged with health care fraud conspiracy. She allegedly defrauded Medicare by submitting reimbursement claims for medications the pharmacy never provided to the customers.
Another indictment alleges that Tammy Cantrell, 39, and Shelby Lackey, 50, co-owners of Caremore pain clinic in Johnson County, conspired with a doctor to distribute Hydrocodone to Johnson County residents. They allegedly made nearly $2 million in drug proceeds.
A fourth indictment alleges that the co-owners of Auto Accident and Health Care in Auxier, Ky., Ray Douglas Stapleton, 34, and his wife Tina Marie Stapleton, 33, conspired with two doctors. They schemed to unlawfully dispense Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Xanax to Johnson County residents. The scheme made approximately $1.5 million from July 2010 through June 2012.
According to yet another indictment, Jody Robinson, 37, a pain clinic owner in Florida, conspired with a doctor to launder money and illegally dispense prescription drugs to patients from Boyd, Greenup, and Lawrence Counties. The clinic allegedly made approximately $2 million in just over a year.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, KSP, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, FDA, Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, DEA, and Kentucky Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Branch. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roger West and Lee Gentry presented the indictments to the grand jury.
The healthcare fraud, prescription drug, and money laundering conspiracies carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison. However, the court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal statutes before imposing any sentence following a conviction.