Johnstown Clinic Owner Sentenced for Maintaining a Drug Involved Premises and Money Laundering
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Bulger, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to three years’ probation and the forfeiture of $1.75 million on his conviction of maintaining a drug involved premises and money laundering, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Stephen K. Shaner, 71.
According to information presented to the court, Shaner was the owner and operator of SKS Associates, Inc., a buprenorphine clinic located in Johnstown, Pa. Buprenorphine is a controlled substance that is prescribed to opioid addicted patients and is dispensed under the names of Suboxone, Subutex, and Zubsolv. Two of the doctors employed at SKS Associates prescribed buprenorphine outside the course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. On many instances the doctors did not see or physically examine the patients they were treating and the patients were given pre-signed prescriptions that had been completed by non-medically licensed personnel at the facility. Shaner also committed money laundering when he deposited a $50,000 check involving funds derived from a criminal offense.
Assistant United States Attorneys Robert S. Cessar and Michael Leo Ivory prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit (OFADU). The Western Pennsylvania OFADU, led by federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, combines the expertise and resources of federal and state law enforcement to address the role played by unethical medical professionals in the opioid epidemic.
The agencies which comprise the Western Pennsylvania OFADU include: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Bureau of Narcotic Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Office of Personnel Management – Office of Inspector General and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.