News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Oct. 20, 2010

HAYSVILLE DOCTOR AND WIFE SENTENCED IN DEADLY PRESCRIPTION OVERDOSES

WICHITA, KAN. – A Haysville, Kan., physician and his wife have been sentenced to federal prison for illegally distributing prescription pain killers to patients who overdosed on them, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Stephen J. Schneider, 57, was sentenced to 30 years. His wife, Linda K. Schneider, 52, was sentenced to 33 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Monti L. Belot pronounced sentence during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

“The Schneiders put money before medicine,” U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. “They illegally dispensed prescription pain killers without a medical purpose and without regard to the fact their patients were suffering from physical and mental conditions that made them vulnerable to the risks of addiction, overdose and death.”

“Judge Belot described it well,” Grissom added, “when he called it the story of an avoidable tragedy motivated by greed.”

In June 2010, after a trial that lasted eight weeks, a jury returned guilty verdicts against the Schneiders on charges including conspiracy, unlawful distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud and money laundering. They were taken into custody pending sentencing.

The government’s case focused on 21 of 68 patients who died of drug overdoses, and examined how the Schneiders 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 Schneiders 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 (count one)
– four counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting the death of a patient (counts 2, 3, 4 and 5)
– one count of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, (count 6)
– three counts of health care fraud resulting in a death (counts 7, 8 and 9)
– eight counts of submitting false claims to Medicaid and private insurers (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
– two counts of money laundering (counts 26 and 28).

Stephen Schneider was acquitted on 15 money laundering counts (counts 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34).
The jury convicted Linda Schneider on the following counts:
– one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud (count one)
– four counts of aiding and abetting unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting the death of a patient (counts 2, 3, 4 and 5)
– one count of aiding and abetting unlawfully distributing controlled substances, (counts 6)
– three counts of health care fraud unlawfully resulting in a death (counts 7, 8 and 9)
– eight counts of aiding and abetting submitting false claims to Medicaid and private insurers (counts 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17)
– Fifteen counts of money laundering (counts 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34).

Linda Schneider was acquitted on two money laundering counts (counts 23 and 24)

Grissom 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.

 

 


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