LEXINGTON, KY - A Louisiana man who owned two out of state pain clinics that were responsible for illegally distributing hundreds of thousands of prescription pills to Eastern Kentuckians was found guilty by a Lexington jury on all criminal charges.
After more than three weeks of trial, and approximately four hours of deliberation, the jury found 46-year-old Michael Leman and two corporations he controlled, Urgent Care Services Philadelphia, Inc., and Urgent Care Services Cincinnati, Inc., guilty on one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of money laundering.
Leman is the first pain clinic owner ever prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Kentucky.
According to evidence presented at trial, Leman conspired from December of 2004 until January of 2008 with two doctors and other clinic officials to distribute oxycodone and methadone to hundreds of Kentuckians from Pike and Floyd Counties. Court records indicate that approximately 90 percent of the patients who visited Leman’s Philadelphia and Cincinnati clinics, were from Eastern Kentucky. The clinics made a combined $1.2 million in cash in a 26 month period.
Trial testimony revealed that Leman instructed clinic officials to actively recruit Kentucky patients to travel to Urgent Care in Philadelphia for prescription drugs. The two pain clinics didn’t possess X-ray machines, MRI equipment or the ability to cast broken bones.
Evidence also proved that Leman hired three doctors to work at the clinics who were unemployed, had criminal histories, and had at one time lost their license to practice medicine in other states. He paid these doctors $3,000 a week with additional monetary incentives if the clinic’s revenue exceeded $10,000 for the week.
At Leman’s direction, the doctors were to accept cash as the only method of payment and charge Kentuckians $500 per visit, more than two and half times the amount in state patients paid. The doctors typically wrote prescriptions for large amounts of 40 mg Methadone tablets and Oxycodone.
When the doctors voiced concerns about the high volume of Kentucky patients visiting the clinic and the amount of medication that was being prescribed, Leman threatened to fire them.
All other members of the conspiracy have pleaded guilty. Former Philadelphia doctor Randy Weiss and former Cincinnati doctor Stanley Naramore both received four years in prison. Urgent Care CEO Stephen Lyon and former clinic office employee Tonia Snook have yet to be sentenced.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Perrye Turner, Special Agent Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner, jointly announced sentence today.
The offenses Leman’s guilty of carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.