News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 25, 2010
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: (314) 538-4670

Haysville Doctor and Wife Guilty in Deadly Prescription Overdoses

JUN 25 -- (WICHITA, KS). – A Haysville, KS., physician and his wife have been convicted of illegally distributing prescription pain killers to patients who overdosed on them, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.

Convicted were Stephen J. Schneider, 55, and his wife, Linda K. Schneider, 52, both of Haysville. In a trial that lasted eight weeks, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against the Schneider’s on charges including conspiracy, unlawful distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud and money laundering. After the verdict, the Schneider’s were taken into custody pending sentencing.

“The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious national public health concern,” said U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch. “The evidence in this case of patients suffering from overdose and death points to the fact that when prescription pain killers are unlawfully prescribed, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs.”

The government’s case focused on 21 of the 68 patients who died of drug overdoses, and examined how the Schneider’s illegally dispensed controlled prescription drugs, including Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), Morphine (Avinza), Methadone, Hydrocodone (Lortab), Diazepam (Valium), Alprazolam (Xanax), and Clonazepam (Klonopin).

During trial, the government’s case centered on the years from 2002 to 2008, when Stephen Schneider saw patients and Linda Schneider, a licensed practical nurse, managed the business of Schneider Medical Clinic at 7030 S. Broadway in Haysville. Prosecutors presented evidence that the Schneider’s billed more than $4 million to Medicaid and other health insurance providers while they operated the clinic unlawfully, distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose, falsifying insurance claims, and engaging in unlawful financial transactions with the proceeds of the crimes.

The jury convicted Stephen Schneider on the following counts:
– one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud
– four counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting the death of a patient
– one count of unlawfully distributing controlled substances,
– three counts of health care fraud resulting in a death
– eight counts of submitting false claims to Medicaid and private insurers
– two counts of money laundering .

The jury convicted Linda Schneider on the following counts:

– one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud
– four counts of aiding and abetting unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting the death of a patient
– one count of aiding and abetting unlawfully distributing controlled substances,
– three counts of health care fraud unlawfully resulting in a death
– eight counts of aiding and abetting submitting false claims to Medicaid and private insurers
– Fifteen counts of money laundering

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot will hold a hearing at a later date on the forfeiture issues in the case and to set a sentencing date..

Welch commended the following agencies and individuals who worked on the case: The Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kansas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tanya Treadway, Jon P. Fleenor, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jabari Wamble, who prosecuted the case.

“Stephen Schneider and Linda Schneider defrauded health care benefit programs by submitting claims, receiving payment for medical services not provided and causing health care benefit programs to pay for illegal prescriptions,” said Judy Williams of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“This verdict is one example of our efforts to crack down on those individuals and providers who take advantage of vulnerable Kansans they are supposed to be caring for,” said Kansas Attorney General Steve Six.

“Federal agents with the Wichita office of the United States Postal Inspection Service worked at length to help bring to justice these individuals who used the Postal Service to further this crime,” said Antonio Gomez, Inspector in Charge of the Denver division of USPIS.

“The Inspector General’s office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will continue to work closely with our state and federal law enforcement partners to protect the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said Mike Fields, special agent in charge of the agency’s Kansas City office.