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Press Release

Marietta doctor sentenced to 8 years in prison for illegally distributing opioid pain meds, health care fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Southeast Ohio doctor was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 96 months in prison for illegally prescribing controlled substances and defrauding health care programs.

 

A federal jury convicted Roger D. Anderson, 66, of Marietta, in March 2020.

 

Specifically, Anderson was convicted of one count of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, eight counts of illegal dispensing of controlled substances and one count of committing health care fraud.

 

Anderson owned and operated Marietta Medical, which was located on Putnam Street in Marietta.

 

According to court documents and trial testimony, between January 2012 and March 2016, Anderson conspired with others to distribute opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone outside the scope of medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

 

Anderson pre-signed prescriptions for staff to complete and distribute to patients in his absence. Prescriptions were given to patients on days that Anderson did not examine them and by staff who were not legally qualified to give prescriptions. Further, the drugs would be distributed at a kiosk after hours inside the office complex Putnam Commons.

 

Anderson prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled substances, including those known as “Holy Trinity” (an opioid, a benzodiazepine and a muscle relaxant) and “Speedballs” (a stimulant and an opioid).

 

One patient received four prescriptions issued in the same day for 10 Fentanyl patches, 120 Xanax pills, 180 Oxycodone pills and 180 pills of the acetaminophen-hydrocodone mix Norco. On that same date, the patient already had two other overlapping prescriptions for Fentanyl issued by Anderson.

 

Additionally, Anderson conspired to and committed health care fraud, defrauding the Ohio Medicaid and Medicare programs. Anderson caused the submission of claims for controlled substance that were prescribed in violation of Federal law.

 

“Anderson ignored blatant red flags that his patients were abusing and diverting the opioids he prescribed,” U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said. “He prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines to a pregnant patient and was banned by pharmacies. Today’s sentence is another reminder that if you act like a drug dealer, we will prosecute you like one.”

 

“Instead of helping and healing, this doctor fueled drug addictions,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “It’s appalling and I am thankful for the state and federal partnership that worked to stop this activity.”

 

David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost; Anthony Groeber, Executive Director, State Medical Board of Ohio; Steven Schierholt, Executive Director, State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy; John Logue, Interim Administrator/CEO, Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation; and Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks announced the sentence imposed today by Chief U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

 

Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth F. Affeldt and Senior Litigation Counsel Douglas W. Squires represented the United States in this case.

 

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Updated January 19, 2021

Topics
Opioids
Prescription Drugs