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Press Release

Superseding Indictment Charges Physician With Distributing A Controlled Substance And Related Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
Today the Justice Department Announces a National Health Care Fraud Enforcement Action that Has Resulted in 193 Defendants Charged and Over $2.75 Billion in False Claims

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Today, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced that a federal superseding indictment was filed in the Western District of North Carolina, charging Henry Ronald Emery, Jr., MD, 52, of Waxhaw, N.C., for the alleged unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

A federal criminal indictment filed in September 2023, charged Dr. Emery, with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances outside the bounds of professional medical practice, and 11 counts of distribution of controlled substances outside the bounds of professional medical practice. In addition to these offenses, the superseding indictment filed on July 11, 2024, charged Dr. Emery with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully use a registration number.

“It does not matter if you are a trafficker in a drug cartel or a corporate executive or medical professional employed by a health care company, if you profit from the unlawful distribution of controlled substances, you will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will bring to justice criminals who defraud Americans, steal from taxpayer-funded programs, and put people in danger for the sake of profits.”

“The illicit prescription and distribution of opioids pose a serious threat to public health and safety,” said U.S. Attorney King. “Part of our efforts to fight the opioid epidemic and protect our communities, is identifying those who distribute these substances to our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Whether it involves physicians improperly prescribing controlled substances or street dealers selling drugs in our neighborhoods, we are committed to holding accountable those who profit by exploiting others’ struggles with substance abuse.”

According to the charges, from no later than September 2018 through in or about 2022, Dr. Emery, then a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina, allegedly conspired with other persons to intentionally and unlawfully prescribe, dispense, and distribute, and did unlawfully prescribe, dispense, and distribute, a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance. It is also alleged that Dr. Emery engaged in the illegal distribution of buprenorphine on multiple occasions and while acting and intending to act outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. It is further alleged that Dr. Emery knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed with others to use a registration number issued to another person in connection with the distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance.

The Justice Department announced today criminal charges against 193 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud and opioid abuse schemes that resulted in the submission of over $2.75 billion in alleged false billings. The defendants allegedly defrauded programs entrusted for the care of the elderly and disabled to line their own pockets, and the Government, in connection with the enforcement action, seized over $231 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold, and other assets.

The charges against Dr. Emery are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the DEA and IRS-CI for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nick J. Miller and William Bozin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are prosecuting the case.

Updated June 27, 2024

Prescription Drugs