As a nation, how many crises are we supposed to handle at one time? The coronavirus pandemic rages on and continues to impact lives in ways we’ve never seen. The Allegiant Experts team remains heartbroken at the fact that lives continue to be lost all over the country and the world. We also implore everyone to do what they can to stop the spread of the virus. We’ve all lost so much already.
It’s important to note, however, that COVID-19 is certainly not the only crisis our nation is facing. Readers of the Allegiant Experts Blog are well aware that the opioid crisis also rages on, taking lives at alarming rates. In our coverage of various health care fraud cases throughout the United States, we’ve placed particular focus on those that involve physicians who illegally distribute opioids and other controlled substances.
A Kentucky doctor and his wife are among the most recent to worsen the opioid crisis.
As reported by the Eastern District of Kentucky branch of the United States Department of Justice, 48 year-old, Dr. Scotty Akers and his 33 year-old wife, Serissa pleaded guilty to unlawfully distributing controlled substances this week.
The Pikeville couple admitted to unlawfully distributing opioids and other controlled substances during a time when they did not have a legitimate medical practice. As part of their plea, Dr. Akers also agreed to a money judgement of $12,275. Sentencing is scheduled for November 20, 2020.
The defendants used Facebook to carry out their scheme.
Social media are widely used by people from all over the world to communicate with each other. The hugely popular platform is known for comment, photo and video sharing. It also offers a messaging platform known simply as Facebook Messenger. In their plea, the Akers admitted to using this feature to sell unnecessary prescriptions for opioids.
“According to their plea agreements, Serissa Akers exchanged prescriptions written by Scotty Akers for cash in parking lots around Pikeville,” reports the DoJ, “The defendants also admitted that they performed no physical examinations that would justify these parking-lot prescriptions, failed to keep virtually any records on the patients who received these prescriptions, allowed patients to receive early refills, and failed to engage in other measures that prevent the abuse and diversion of opioids.”
The Akers duo was pretty bold in its actions.
They continued to operate their illegal opioid delivery scheme even after they came under investigation. The DoJ reveals that the illegal activity continued right up until the moment when Scotty Akers’ medical license was suspended.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr. is the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He had this to say: “The unlawful distribution of opioids by medical professionals is unacceptable. We will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute these important cases.”
Are you a lawyer who is currently trying a health care fraud case?
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