You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cave City, Kentucky, Physician Guilty Of Illegally Dispensing Controlled Substances Outside Of His Professional Medical Practice And Health Care Fraud

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Barren County, Kentucky, physician pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to seven criminal counts of knowingly and intentionally distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the course of professional medical practice and health care fraud, while he was a practicing physician in the Western District of Kentucky, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

Dr. Christopher Steward, of Cave City, was a dentist and a nurse practitioner with a practice located at 212 Broadway in Cave City and had a Drug Enforcement Agency registration number which authorized him to write prescriptions within the course of professional medical practice.

According to the plea agreement, on six separate occasions, between March 6, 2015, and June 6, 2015, Steward intentionally conspired with patients to acquire possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances, through misrepresentation and fraud, outside the course of medical practice, in order to distribute and/or acquire possession of prescription pills, mostly for his own use.

Further, Steward admits that on June 6, 2015, he willfully executed a scheme to defraud Kentucky Medicaid, a health care benefit program, in connection with the delivery of payment for health care benefits, by writing a prescription for alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, for a patient without the patient’s knowledge or consent.  That prescription was subsequently filled by someone other than the patient, again without the patient’s knowledge or consent, and Steward obtained those pills.  That fraudulent prescription was paid for by Kentucky Medicaid, through Coventry Managed Care.

Steward was arrested on April 13, 2016, made an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl, in Bowling Green, and released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

At the time of sentencing, the United States will move for dismissal of Count 8 of the Indictment (identity theft) and agree that a sentencing range between 18 months of imprisonment and 30 months of imprisonment is the appropriate disposition of this case. Further, the defendant will agree to forfeit property located at 212 Broadway Street in Cave City, Kentucky, and a 2009 Ford F-150 white pickup truck.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser, and it results from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Kentucky State Police.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Healthcare Fraud
Updated May 3, 2016