York Doctor Agrees To Pay $300,000 To Resolve Government Claims Of Controlled Drug Law Civil Violations
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Dr. Walter Krajewski, a primary care doctor in York, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $300,000 over five years to settle allegations that he violated civil provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act by pre-signing prescriptions that were later filled for 24,530 tablets of oxycodone that were medically unnecessary.
U.S. Attorney Peter Smith stated, “Working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Attorney’s Office will seek substantial civil penalties against providers and medical professionals who fail to manage controlled substances, such as oxycodone, safely, wisely and with the appropriate care.”
“We entrust doctors to medically care for ourselves and our family members. However, with that trust comes the responsibility of safeguarding prescriptions and writing them only when medically necessary,” said Gary Tuggle, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Philadelphia Field Division. “The DEA will remain vigilant in pursuing civil charges, as well as criminal charges where appropriate, against doctors that fail to comply with the requirements of the Controlled Substances Act.”
According to the investigation by the DEA, Dr. Krajewski repeatedly pre-signed blank prescriptions at his office practice from January 2014 to May 2015 and provided them to his office manager, allegedly enabling the prescriptions to be filled for 24,530 tablets of oxycodone that had no legitimate medical purpose and that were issued outside the usual course of Dr. Krajewski’s professional practice. Upon discovery, DEA determined that Dr. Krajewski’s office manager allegedly filled those 148 prescriptions of oxycodone because Dr. Krajewski pre-signed the prescriptions without completing the necessary drug and patient information at the same time.
Krajewski is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, specializing in family medicine. As a practitioner licensed to dispense controlled drugs, he is subject to requirements of the Controlled Substance Act as administered by the DEA. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and DEA contend that Dr. Krajewski’s pre-signing and providing the blank prescriptions for over a year to his office manager, resulting in oxycodone issued with no legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of his professional practice, amounted to civil violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
The settlement of the case resolves the matter without the filing of litigation.
As part of the settlement, Dr. Krajewski has agreed to pay $300,000, with an initial payment of $60,000 within 20 days of the date of the agreement and monthly installments of $4,000 for 60 months. The agreement includes penalty provisions in the event of any failure to comply with terms of the settlement.
Dr. Krajewski has changed his office protocol to prohibit pre-signing of prescriptions for controlled substances.
As part of the settlement, Dr. Krajewski also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DEA under which he agreed to comply with heightened compliance requirements for logging and reporting his prescriptions of controlled substances to the DEA, and DEA agreed to forgo administrative action against Dr. Krajewski subject to his compliance with the MOA’s terms and conditions. DEA has reported Dr. Krajewski’s conduct to the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine.
This matter was investigated by the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the DEA and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Anthony D. Scicchitano.
Amy Schneider, Dr. Krajewski’s former office manager and her husband, Joseph Schneider were prosecuted criminally by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2015. Amy Schneider wrote prescriptions beginning in approximately January 2014 and continuing until May 2015 for herself and Joseph Schneider, who allegedly took the forms to pharmacies to be filled. The oxycodone tablets were then divided between Amy and Joseph Schneider. Some of the tablets were distributed to others.
Amy and Joseph Schneider were charged with conspiracy and distribution of oxycodone in a Criminal Information filed in December 2015. Amy Schneider was also charged with illegally using a Drug Enforcement registration to obtain a controlled substance. Joseph Schneider was charged with acquiring a prescription by fraud or forgery. Both defendants plead guilty in January 2016 and were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo in June 2016. Amy Schneider was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment, and Joseph Schneider was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. Former Assistant United States Attorney Christy H. Fawcett prosecuted the case.
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