Corpus Christi Doctor Admits to Keeping False Prescription Records
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 51-year-old Corpus Christi physician has admitted he furnished false information in a record of dispensed controlled substances, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Dr. Michael Jerome Pendleton pleaded guilty today. At the hearing, the court also heard that in February 2017, the Texas Medical Board found Pendleton was operating an unregistered pain clinic and that he had surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration license.
According to Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a registered individual practitioner is required to keep records of controlled substances listed in Schedules II, II, IV and V if the practitioner regularly engages in the dispensing or administrating of controlled substances.
Starting in September 2013, law enforcement initiated an investigation into Pendleton’s practice based on his prescription writing practices that included a high number of proscriptions for controlled substances. Law enforcement conducted eight undercover visits to Pendleton’s office. During seven of those occasions, Pendleton prescribed hydrocodone - a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substance Act.
In November 2016, agents executed a search warrant on Pendleton’s office and seized several documents. The investigation revealed Pendleton had omitted from his records information he was required to provide including the hydrocodone he had distributed to the undercover agents.
Sentencing has been set before Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey on July17, 2018. At that time, Pendleton faces up to four years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The DEA, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety, Corpus Christi Police Department and the Texas Medical Board conducted the investigation as part of a joint task force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez is prosecuting the case.