PIKEVILLE, KY - A former Paintsville, Ky. doctor admitted in federal court today that he unlawfully dispensed approximately 50,000 prescription pills to individuals in Eastern Kentucky.
Dr. Richard Albert, 64, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances. Albert also agreed to forfeit more than $500,000 which represents proceeds from his conspiracy.
Albert admitted that from January 2009 until February 2011 he wrote numerous fraudulent prescriptions to individuals without a legitimate medical purpose. He typically wrote prescriptions for 100 percocets (10mg) in exchange for $200 cash. Court records indicate that Albert frequently wrote between approximately 40 and 50 fraudulent prescriptions in a given day.
According to the plea agreement, Albert wrote prescriptions to people who visited his clinic, his private residence, and a closed chiropractor’s office in Johnson County. During these visits, Albert performed little to no examination before writing the prescriptions. Patients who returned to the clinic after their initial visits received prescriptions without visiting with Albert at all.
In many cases Albert signed his name to blank prescriptions and had an office assistant fill out the actual prescription.
He also back dated information into his medical files to coverup the scheme.
During the course of the conspiracy, Albert worked at a Care More Pain Management and shortly after resigning from that clinic he worked at Second Street Enterprises.
The investigation started in 2009 when investigators with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office observed large congregations of people routinely lined up outside Albert’s pain clinic.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Jack Conway, Kentucky Attorney General and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, jointly announced the plea.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Paintsville Police Department.
Albert will appear in Federal Court in Pikeville for sentencing on April 18. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. However, before the court imposes a sentence it must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the statute governing the imposition of sentences.