CHICAGO — Two suburban Chicago physicians have been indicted on federal criminal charges for allegedly prescribing opioids to individuals who lacked a legitimate medical need for the drugs.
STANLEY DAVID DEMOREST managed Demorest Consultants LLC, a medical practice in Melrose Park, Ill. NICHOLAS RECCHIA was employed there as a physician. From 2015 to 2020, Demorest and Recchia agreed to dispense hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and other controlled substances to various individuals who visited Demorest Consultants but received no meaningful physical examination or medical tests, and whom Demorest and Recchia knew had no legitimate medical need for the drugs, according to an indictment returned Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Demorest, who in 2015 voluntarily surrendered his DEA Registration Number and lost his ability to lawfully prescribe controlled substances, used Recchia’s name and DEA Registration Number to issue prescriptions for controlled substances to patients, the charges allege.
Demorest and Recchia also caused pharmacies to submit numerous claims to Medicare and Medicaid seeking payment for the improper prescriptions, the indictment states.
The indictment charges Demorest, 65, of Bloomingdale, Ill., and Recchia, 62, of River Grove, Ill., with conspiracy to dispense controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. The pair also face individual counts of health care fraud and unlawful dispensing of controlled substances. Arraignments in federal court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Bell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the DEA; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin G. Klamann and Valerie R. Raedy.
The charges were brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Opioid Task Force, which was formed in November 2019 for the purpose of combatting the growing number of unlawful distributions of controlled substances fueling the nation’s opioid crisis.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.