Wheat ridge doctor pleads guilty for the illegal distribution of oxycodone and knowingly engaging in a monetary transaction using property derived from proceeds of unlawful activity
DENVER – Dr. Kevin R. Clemmer, age 59, of Evergreen, Colorado, pled guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn to illegally distributing Oxycodone, a Scheduled II Controlled Substance, and engaging in a monetary transaction in property criminally derived from proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, U.S. Attorney John Walsh, DEA Rocky Mountain Division Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Stephen Boyd announced today. Clemmer appeared at the hearing free on bond. Judge Blackburn is scheduled to sentence Clemmer on September 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Clemmer and several co-defendants were indicted on May 16, 2011.
Co-defendant Tina Sheldon, one of Clemmer’s staff assistants, received a sentence of time served and 3 years of supervised release. Defendant Noah Ziegler, who assisted in distributing the Oxycodone, received a sentence of 3 years’ probation. The remaining defendant, Angela Lee, who also helped distribute the Oxycodone, received a sentence of time served and 3 years of supervised release.
According to court records, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, the underlying investigation in this case began on April 1, 2009, and went through September 17, 2010. Clemmer knowingly and intentionally distributed and dispensed oxycodone, a scheduled II controlled substance, outside the scope of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purposes. During the course of the investigation the defendant did distribute by prescription oxycodone to an undercover officer as well as two co-defendants.
On September 2, 2010, the defendant did prescribe oxycodone to one individual. On September 3, 2010, that individual died. The cause of death is listed as an accidental aspiration of gastric contents associated with oxycodone toxicity. The prescription written by the defendant (with numerous pills missing) was found at the scene of the death, as well as other oxycodone pills which were not prescribed by the defendant. The defendant’s prescription helped contribute to the death of this individual. The death, however, was not a charged offense as part of this investigation or indictment.
On May 20, 2010, the defendant met with an undercover officer. The undercover officer described minimal pain management needs and symptoms which did not require, as part of the scope of professional practice, the prescription of oxycodone. However, the defendant did prescribe 120 pills of 15 milligram oxycodone to the undercover officer after a very limited medical screen and evaluation.
On May 29, 2010, the defendant did purchase a 1999 Lincoln Continental, using cash which was derived from the illegal distribution of a schedule II controlled substance. The monetary transaction, which did affect interstate commerce, was for a value greater than $10,000.
As part of the plea agreement, the defendant agreed not to contest the seizure of a building, currency, funds from bank accounts, two vehicles and gold and silver coins, totaling over $300,000 in ill-gotten proceeds from Clemmer’s criminal scheme.
“Regrettably, unscrupulous doctors in our community are prescribing powerful pain medications not for medical purposes, but for their own personal financial gain, heedless of the addiction and personal ruin they are inflicting on their patients,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “When doctors overprescribe these drugs, they place the public in danger. All too often, accidental overdose deaths are the result, as in this tragic case.”
“The diversion of pharmaceutical drugs has become an epidemic in America,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach. “The conviction of Dr. Clemmer serves notice to other medical professionals that, regardless of one’s professional status, the illegal distribution of prescription drugs makes one a drug trafficker subject to DEA investigation and federal prosecution.”
“IRS – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) is committed to fighting to stop doctors from over prescribing prescription drugs in conjunction with our law enforcement partners,” said Stephen Boyd, Special Agent in Charge of IRS – Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. “IRS-CI has the financial investigators and expertise to disrupt these doctors and their organizations to deprive them of their illicit gains.”
As a result of the plea to knowingly and intentionally distributed, dispensed, and possessed with intent to distribute Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, Clemmer faces not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $1,000,000 fine. As a result of the plea of engaging in monetary transaction affecting interstate commerce, Clemmer faces not more than 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tactical Diversion Squad and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Phillips with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jim Russell and Tonya Andrews with the Asset Forfeiture Unit.