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Press Release

St. Louis Area Pediatrician Indicted, Accused of Exchanging Prescriptions for Sex Acts

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis County, Missouri pediatrician was indicted Wednesday and accused of prescribing pain pills and other controlled substances in exchange for sex acts or cash.

The indictment charges Craig A. Spiegel, 67, with 17 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances and six counts of making false statements related to health care matters. Dr. Spiegel and an acquaintance, April Bingham, 46, were also indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

The indictment says that since at least 2014, Dr. Spiegel repeatedly issued controlled substance prescriptions to numerous adult women – many of whom he met because he was their pediatrician when they were children – in exchange for sexual acts and sexual photographs, without regard for the patient’s medical condition or the medical necessity of the prescription. In many cases, Spiegel issued those controlled substance prescriptions even though he knew the recipients had a substance use disorder and he knew that issuing the prescription was illegal and could endanger the recipient’s mental health and physical safety, the indictment says. He also pressured reluctant women to engage in sex acts at his pediatrics office in Bridgeton, Missouri, the indictment says.  

In a motion seeking to have Dr. Spiegel held in jail until trial, the government alleges that investigators are aware of at least 25 individuals with whom Spiegel exchanged controlled substance prescriptions for sexual acts or cash.

The indictment alleges that Dr. Spiegel ignored widely known “red flags” that can indicate prescription drugs are being abused or sold, endangering the well-being of the patients and the community. The indictment also lists a series of examples. One patient met Dr. Spiegel through a friend who told her that he would write any prescription she desired if she performed a sex act while topless. On numerous occasions she did so or provided nude photos in exchange for Adderall, Xanax and Percocet, the indictment alleges. Dr. Spiegel provided the same three drugs to another patient in exchange for sex acts, despite knowing that she had a severe substance use disorder and was at high risk of overdose, the indictment alleges. She died of a drug overdose in April of 2022 at the age of 40, it says.

The indictment also alleges that beginning in 2021, Bingham, who did not have any medical training or a Drug Enforcement Administration registration allowing her to prescribe controlled substances, agreed to distribute controlled substances under Dr. Spiegel’s DEA registration. Dr. Spiegel issued controlled substance prescriptions to Bingham for sexual favors Bingham provided, the indictment says. Dr. Spiegel knew that Bingham was selling some of the drugs he prescribed to her for cash, the indictment says. Dr. Spiegel used the identities of third-party individuals, including Bingham’s ex-husband, mother, and friends, to either take advantage of their prescription insurance benefits or conceal from pharmacies the frequency with which Bingham was receiving controlled substances prescribed by Dr. Spiegel, the indictment says. Bingham also introduced Dr. Spiegel to others who provided him with cash or sex acts in exchange for prescriptions, the indictment says.

“The conduct alleged in the indictment represents an exploitation of patients who were vulnerable because they had been treated by Dr. Spiegel since they were girls, because they were struggling with an addiction, or both, to satisfy a sexual desire,” said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. “It is illegal and unethical for a doctor to prescribe controlled substances as payment for sexual favors or for cash, or to provide drugs to someone who is suspected of diverting or abusing those drugs.”

“Physicians who recklessly and illegitimately distribute controlled substances undermine critical efforts to battle the opioid crisis and betray their professional responsibility to serve the health and well-being of the public. As alleged, Dr. Spiegel took advantage of individuals struggling with addiction--some of them his former pediatric patients--all for his own personal gratification,” said Special Agent in Charge Linda Hanley of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to address such abuse to protect patients, communities, and taxpayers from such dangerous conduct.”

“Every day, prescription drugs are misused in the United States at an alarming rate because many people have a false sense of security regarding these potent, and sometimes dangerous, drugs,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael Davis, leader of Drug Enforcement Administration operations in Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois. “Reducing prescription drug misuse is vital to the health and welfare of the American people and is a priority we take seriously. When the medical practitioners Americans trust contribute to that misuse, DEA is obliged to investigate.”

"The allegations laid forth in the federal indictment describe a heinous abuse of trust,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Christopher Crocker. “The investigation was made possible through strong federal, state, and local partnerships."

Individuals with concerns about Dr. Spiegel should call HHS-OIG at 800-447-8477.

The charges of conspiracy and illegal distribution of controlled substances are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both prison and a fine. Each charge of making false statements is punishable by five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. 

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Bridgeton Police Department, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Sestric is prosecuting the case.


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated March 14, 2024

Health Care Fraud