Bowling Green Physician Charged With Unlawful Distribution And Dispensing Of Controlled Substance Causing Serious Physical Injury And/Or Death, Health Care Fraud Resulting In Death, And Conspiracy To Dispense Controlled Substances
50 Count Indictment includes deaths of patients
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. today announced the Superseding Indictment of former Warren County, Kentucky, physician Charles Fred Gott on multiple charges of unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances resulting in injury and or death of patients, health care fraud resulting in a patient’s death, and conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances during the course of his professional practice that were not for a legitimate medical purpose, and health care fraud.
Gott, age 63, a formerly licensed physician in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, was initially indicted by grand jury in Bowling Green on June 10, 2015.
Today’s 50 count, superseding indictment adds multiple charges while the alleged criminal activity remains between 2006 and September 19, 2013, in Warren County, Kentucky.
Gott is charged with a single count of conspiring with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense, not for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice, Schedule II, Schedule III and Schedule IV controlled substances. Included are 14 counts of unlawfully dispensing Methadone and Fentanyl – Schedule II controlled substances, Hydrocodone – a Schedule III controlled substance, and Clonazepam and Oxymorphone – Schedule IV controlled substances.
Further, Gott is charged with three counts of unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances resulting in serious physical injury and/or the death of known patients. According to the charges, on December 8, 2011, Gott knowingly and intentionally distributed Fentanyl, not for a legitimate medical purpose and in the usual course of professional practice, to a patient whose serious physical injury and death on December 13, 2011 resulted from the use of the dispensed substance.
On February 28, 2012, Gott is charged with knowingly and intentionally distributing Hydrocodone, not for a legitimate medical purpose and in the usual course of professional practice, to a patient whose serious physical injury and death on March 2, 2012 resulted from the use of the dispensed substance.
On July 24, 2012, Gott is charged with knowingly and intentionally distributing Methadone, not for a legitimate medical purpose and in the usual course of professional practice, to a patient whose serious physical injury and death on July 28, 2012, resulted from the use of the dispensed substance.
Gott is further charged with a single count of the health care fraud resulting in the death of a patient. According to the superseding indictment, between July 13, 2011, and September 19, 2013, Gott knowingly dispensed and distributed medically unnecessary controlled substance prescriptions to a patient – knowing that the patient would fill her prescriptions at pharmacies, and those pharmacies in turn would submit claims to health care benefit programs for reimbursement and these prescriptions resulted in the patients’ death on February 7, 2013.
Further, during the same time period, Gott is charged with executing a scheme to falsely and fraudulently bill various health care benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by submitting claims for office visits at a higher code than the service actually provided to patients under his care. Also, Gott is charged with directing staff members to provide medically unnecessary spirometry tests and medically unnecessary electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) tests to patients, and to falsely and fraudulently bill various health care benefit programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Anthem, among others, by submitting claims for medically unnecessary spirometry tests and EKG/ECG tests, for patients. A spirometry test assess lung function in the diagnosis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing.
Gott is further subject to forfeiture to the United States government, any and all proceeds derived from unlawful activity as a result of the offenses alleged in the indictment and the forfeiture of Gott’s license to practice medicine.
If convicted at trial, Gott faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years and up to and including life in prison. Gott is scheduled for arraignment on July 27th, at 10:00 a.m. in Bowling Green.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mac Shannon, Lettricea Jefferson-Webb and Joseph Ansari. This case was investigated by the Warren County Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Diversion Section, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Kentucky State Police, Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Warren County Drug Task Force, led by Director Tommy Loving, along with detectives from KSP’s West Drug Enforcement Branch, were instrumental in identifying and developing this case for federal prosecution.