HOPE Clinic Defendant Pleads Guilty to Gun Crime
BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Shady Springs man pled guilty to a gun crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joshua Radcliffe, 36, pled guilty to conspiring with Mark T. Radcliffe to using and carrying firearms in relation to maintaining drug-involved premises.
“It’s a serious red flag when employees associated with a medical practice have to carry guns for protection because of the clientele and the cash coming in,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Individuals fueled by greed who contribute to the opioid epidemic and prey on those suffering from addiction should take note – we will use every tool in our toolbox to hold you accountable.”
Radcliffe admitted that from 2010 through 2015, he was employed through PPPFD, Inc., the company that managed the daily operations of the HOPE Clinic. Radcliffe admitted that HOPE Clinic was predominately a cash based business and that the physicians at HOPE Clinic issued prescriptions for oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances to its customers not for legitimate medical purposes and outside the bounds of professional medical practice. Radcliffe worked at the Beckley and Beaver locations of the HOPE Clinic as the Clinic Manager. As the Clinic Manager, Radcliffe admitted to running the daily operations of the clinics and that PPPFD management made medical decisions that should have been made by the physicians and not by PPPFD employees. Because of the types of customers coming to the HOPE Clinic locations, including the Beckley HOPE Clinic located on Carriage Drive and the Beaver HOPE Clinic located on Lockheed Drive, specifically people seeking Schedule II controlled substances to feed their addiction or to illegally distribute, Radcliffe admitted that he carried a firearm to work. He further admitted that he, and other management at PPPFD, encouraged other PPPFD employees, especially the narcotic auditors and clinic managers, to carry firearms to work for protection because of the customers and the amount of cash coming into the clinics each day.
Radcliffe faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on January 15, 2020.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia State Police, the Kentucky State Police, the Beckley Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the Charleston Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
United States District Judge Irene Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Monica D. Coleman and Steven Loew are handling the prosecution.