Marietta doctor sentenced to 8 years in prison for illegally distributing opioid pain meds, health care fraud
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dr. David Rath, 60, of Alexandria, Ohio, and Karen Climer, also known as Karen D. Muncey and Karen D. Long, 58, of Columbus, each pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and , announced the plea entered into today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers.
According to court documents, Rath was employed as a physician and Climer as an administrative employee at Columbus Southern Medical Clinic, which purported to be a “family medical practice.”
Rath supervised two physician assistants who were each seeing between 50-100 patients a day. Climer scheduled between 200 and 400 patients a day total, knowing that many of the patients were drug seekers addicted to oxycodone. The practice prescribed pain killers to these patients without properly examining, diagnosing and treating them. The clinic focused on a drug seeking patient population that was addicted to pain medications and other controlled substances.
It is estimated that half of the patients receiving controlled substances at the clinic were receiving them unlawfully. Climer also falsified drug tests for patients who tested positive for illegal drugs or who did not have the prescribed controlled substances in their system.
Each defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison and a potential maximum fine of $1 million.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad and Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth F. Affeldt and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Richard M. Rolwing, who are representing the United States in this case.