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Press Release

Soap Lake, Washington Physician’s Assistant Pleads Guilty to Lying to the FBI

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington
Defendant lied about checking vital signs of patients before prescribing opioid medications

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of
Washington, announced that Eldon L. Leinweber, age 72 of Waterville, Washington pleaded guilty
to making a materially false statement to the FBI. Leinweber faces a maximum sentence of five
years imprisonment, a three-year term of court supervision, and a $250,000 fine. Senior Judge
William Fremming Nielsen will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing
Guidelines and other statutory factors. Leinweber is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, 2023,
at 9:00 a.m. in Spokane, Washington.

According to court documents, Leinweber was a practicing Physician’s Assistant who held a
Physician’s Assistant License in the State of Washington and U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration registration number. As such, he was authorized to prescribe controlled substances
for legitimate medical purposes and in the usual course of professional practice. He owned and
operated Mansfield Family Medicine in Soap Lake, Washington. The FBI and the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), opened
an investigation of Leinweber regarding the potential violation of federal criminal law with respect
to his prescribing of controlled substances. The FBI and HHS-OIG were investigating, in part,
allegations that the Mansfield Family Clinic was overbilling Medicare and Medicaid. In a billing
investigation, one of the material questions relates to the amount of time a medical professional,
such as Leinweber, spends with a patient and the nature of the examination performed, which
directly affect the bill’s amount and whether it is lawfully paid.

When the FBI and HHS-OIG interviewed Leinweber during its investigation, he falsely stated that
“99.99%” of the time he checked the vital signs of a patient before prescribing an opioid
medication. In truth and in fact, as Leinweber well knew, that statement was materially false,
when made, because he did not check the vital signs of a patient “99.99%” of the time before
prescribing an opioid medication. Indeed, the rate at which the Mansfield Family Clinic performed
complete physicals was materially lower. Further, for multiple patients, the Mansfield Family
Clinic updated opioid prescriptions with minimal physical examinations. Leinweber’s false
statement was made to mislead the FBI in its investigation.

Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington said, “Lying to
federal agents is a serious offense. Lying about core aspects of patient safety when prescribing
opioids impacts the health of our entire community. The integrity of our Nation’s criminal justice
system depends on people telling the truth and those who fail to abide by this fundamental
principle must face the consequences.”

“Integrity is a core value of the FBI and absolutely fundamental in our investigative work. The
public expects the same from those given the privilege of providing medical care,” said Richard A.
Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “This case serves as an example
of the importance of honesty and that we will hold those who lie accountable, no matter their

“This provider endangered the safety of his patients by recklessly prescribing opioid medications
and lying to federal investigators about doing so,” said Steven J. Ryan, Special Agent in Charge at
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).
“HHS-OIG will not tolerate those who attempt to subvert our investigations, particularly when
they concern undermining critical efforts to end the opioid crisis.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. This case is being
prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of



David Herzog
Assistant United States Attorney and Public Affairs Officer
509-835-6346 or

Updated April 26, 2023

Health Care Fraud