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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 9, 2019

San Joaquin County Doctor Indicted for Prescribing Opioids to Patients Without a Medical Need

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Dec. 5, a federal grand jury brought a 14-count indictment against a physician, Edmund Kemprud, of Dublin, charging him with prescribing opioids to patients outside the usual course of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purpose, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Kemprud was a physician licensed to practice medicine in California and maintained a medical practice in Dublin and Tracy. On 14 occasions between Sept. 6, 2018 and March 13, 2019, Kemprud allegedly prescribed highly addictive, commonly abused prescription drugs, including Hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and Oxycodone – outside the usual course of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purpose. The controlled substances affect the central nervous system and may only be prescribed when medically required. Kemprud was arrested today and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

U.S. Attorney Scott stated: “Diversion of drugs with a legitimate purpose to those who abuse them or sell to abusers is a costly and dangerous enterprise. Fortunately, with the cooperative efforts of our state and local partners, we have the ability to track powerful prescription drugs and find those who attempt to divert them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has made it a top priority to prosecute those who engage in prescription drug diversion.”

“Doctors who violate their position of trust must be held accountable,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Prescription drug diversion and the resultant abuse has led to a public health crisis that affects communities and families across California and the nation. It takes all of us working together to combat this epidemic and heal our communities. Our office and special agents will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to investigate and prosecute bad actors. At the California Department of Justice, we stand ready to use the tools at our disposal to protect our communities.”

“Doctors take an oath to ‘first, do no harm.’ Prescribing powerful opiates without legitimate medical purpose violates that principle and the law. It places profits above patient welfare and the community suffers the consequences,” stated DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge William C. Fallin. “DEA and our counterparts will continue to work diligently to hold accountable those fueling the prescription drug crisis.”

“When doctors prescribe powerful and dangerous drugs for illegitimate purposes, the results can be deadly,” said Steven J. Ryan, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Working closely with our Federal and State law enforcement partners, we continue fighting to protect beneficiaries, government healthcare programs, and taxpayers picking up the bills.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse Drug Diversion Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincenza Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Kemprud faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 
2:19-cr-218
Updated December 9, 2019