U.S. Attorney Announces 98-Count Superseding Indictment Against Owners, Managers and Physicians Associated With HOPE Clinic and Related Company
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today a federal grand jury returned a 98-count superseding indictment against the owners, managers and physicians associated with HOPE Clinic. The superseding indictment added 29 counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and not for medically legitimate purposes to six different customers on various occasions from 2013 through 2015 by Sanjay Mehta, D.O., Michael T. Moran, M.D., Mark Clarkson, D.O., Vernon Stanley, M.D., Brian Gullett, D.O., William Earley, D.O., Paul W. Burke, Jr., D.O., and Rowsell Tempest Lowry, M.D. Among the 29 counts added, two counts charge Joshua Radcliffe, the son of PPPFD owner, Mark T. Radcliffe, with aiding, abetting, counseling, commanding and procuring, Sanjay Mehta, D.O., with the distribution of controlled substances on two separate occasions to two separate customers.
“The additional 29 charges were necessary as a result of the facts underlying this terrible case,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart. “A physician’s first oath is to ‘do no harm,’ but sadly when physicians do not uphold this oath, a lot of irrevocable harm is done.”
In addition, the superseding indictment charges all defendants with a conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and not for medically legitimate purposes, and charges defendants Blume and Mark Radcliffe with maintaining drug-involved premises in Beckley, Beaver and Charleston. Included in the superseding indictment are 91 counts charging several physicians with distribution of controlled substances not for legitimate medical purposes and outside the usual course of professional practice. Sanjay Mehta, D.O., a former physician at the Beckley and Beaver HOPE Clinic locations, is also charged with two counts of distribution of controlled substances causing death. Ten of the defendants are charged with conspiracy to launder drug proceeds by paying bonuses to HOPE Clinic physicians and employees of Patients, Physicians, and Pharmacists Fighting Diversion, Inc. (PPPFD), to encourage continued prescribing of Schedule II narcotics to customers.
The investigation was conducted by the following agencies:
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, OIG
- Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations
- Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- West Virginia State Police
- Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT)
- Beckley Police Department
- Kentucky State Police
- Harrison County (KY) Sheriff’s Department
- Appalachia HIDTA
The additional charges announced today are part of the on-going effort by the United States Attorney’s Office to aggressively target medical professionals involved in the unlawful distribution of opioids and other dangerous controlled substances.
If convicted on all charges as alleged in the indictment, Dr. Blume and Mark Radcliffe face up to 100 years; Joshua Radcliffe faces up to 60 years; Teresa Emerson faces up to 20 years; Michael Moran faces up to 80 years; Sanjay Mehta faces a forty year mandatory minimum sentence up to life imprisonment; Vernon Stanley faces up to 300 years; Brian Gullett faces up to 380 years; Mark Clarkson faces up to 100 years; William Earley faces up to 300 years; Paul Burke faces up to 200 years; and Roswell Tempest Lowry faces up to 140 years.
This case is part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.
Please note: An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.