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UPDATE: Paintsville Pain Clinic Doctor Sentenced

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 6/12/13 @ 3:15 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former Paintsville, Ky. doctor that admitted to unlawfully dispensing 50,000 prescription pills to people in eastern Kentucky is headed to prison.

In December 2011, Dr. Richard Albert, 64, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances.

In the plea, Albert also agreed to forfeit more than $500,000 which represents proceeds from his conspiracy.

Wednesday during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Dr. Albert was sentenced to 75 months in a federal prison.

In his plea, Albert admitted that from January 2009 until February 2011 he wrote numerous fraudulent prescriptions to individuals without a legitimate medical purpose. He typically wrote prescriptions for 100 percocets in exchange for $200 cash.

Court records indicate that Albert frequently wrote between 40 and 50 fraudulent prescriptions in a given day.

According to the plea agreement, Albert wrote prescriptions to people who visited his clinic, his private residence, and a closed chiropractor’s office in Johnson County.

During these visits, Albert performed little to no examination before writing the prescriptions. Patients who returned to the clinic after their initial visits received prescriptions without visiting with Albert at all.

In many cases Albert signed his name to blank prescriptions and had an office assistant fill out the actual prescription.

He also back dated information into his medical files to cover-up the scheme.

During the course of the conspiracy, Albert worked at a Care More Pain Management and shortly after resigning from that clinic he worked at Second Street Enterprises.

The investigation started in 2009 when investigators with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office observed large congregations of people routinely lined up outside Albert’s pain clinic.



UPDATE 4/26/13
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The owners of a Johnson County pain clinic will be sentenced in September after admitting in federal court they conspired with doctors to illegally dispense more than 50,000 prescription pills.

Tammy Cantrell, 40, of Oil Springs, Ky., and Shelby Lackey, 50, of Williamsport, Ky., pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute and unlawfully dispense Oxycodone and maintaining a drug involved premise.

Cantrell and Lackey owned and operated Care More Pain Management located in Paintsville, Ky.

According to the plea agreement from 2008 until approximately February 2012, the defendants conspired with two doctors to dispense Oxycodone to eastern Kentuckians without a legitimate medical purpose.

Court records state that the doctors performed little or no physical examination before writing prescriptions that were usually for 90 Percocet 10 mg pills. Patients paid $200 for the initial visit and $185 for subsequent visits; all fees were paid in cash. One of the doctors previously admitted he saw between 40 and 50 patients in one day.

In many instances, the doctors wrote prescriptions without seeing patients or signed blank prescriptions for office assistants to complete, according to the plea agreement.

Cantrell and Lackey paid the doctors as much as $8,500 a week. The clinic didn’t accept insurance and doctors made no referrals for physical rehabilitation.

Neither Cantrell nor Lackey are medically certified and have no nursing experience.

The investigation started when detectives with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office received complaints from local law enforcement that Care More was seeing a high volume of patients.

Court records state that patient lines at Care More stretched into the parking lot.

One of the doctors, Richard Albert, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose. He also agreed to forfeit $500,000 which represented his proceeds from the crime. Albert will be sentenced in June.

The other doctor, Rano Bofill, was indicted in August for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and operating a drug involved premise. He previously pleaded not guilty and his trial is in May.

Federal prosecutors say Cantrell and Lackey also agreed to forfeit a total of approximately $500,000 which represents proceeds from the conspiracy.

Following the plea, Cantrell was taken into custody while Lackey was released on her own recognizance.

Cantrell and Lackey are the first pain clinic owners in the Eastern District of Kentucky to have federal convictions for operating a pill mill and conspiring to illegally distribute Oxycodone.



UPDATE 7/11/12/11 @ 1:40 p.m.
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former Paintsville, Ky. doctor that pleaded guilty in a pain pill case is apologizing for his actions.

Dr. Richard Albert, 64, wrote a letter to Judge Amul Thapar admitting to his transgressions and apologize for the mistakes he had made in connection with prescribing pain pills.

In the letter Albert told the judge that "The fact is that 50,000 oxycodone pills were prescribed without documentation. I failed. I deeply regret my actions. I lament this every day. I am so sorry I did this. I am miserable."

If you would like to read the entire letter click the link above.

Back in December, Albert admitted that from January 2009 until February 2011 he wrote numerous fraudulent prescriptions to individuals without a legitimate medical purpose. He typically wrote prescriptions for 100 percocets in exchange for $200 cash.

Court records indicate that Albert frequently wrote between approximately 40 and 50 fraudulent prescriptions in a given day.

Dr. Albert is set to be sentenced July 30.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/12/11 @ 1:40 p.m.
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former Paintsville, Ky. doctor admitted Monday that he unlawfully dispensed approximately 50,000 prescription pills to individuals in Eastern Kentucky.

Dr. Richard Albert, 64, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances.

Albert also agreed to forfeit more than $500,000 which represents proceeds from his conspiracy.

Albert admitted that from January 2009 until February 2011 he wrote numerous fraudulent prescriptions to individuals without a legitimate medical purpose. He typically wrote prescriptions for 100 percocets in exchange for $200 cash.

Court records indicate that Albert frequently wrote between approximately 40 and 50 fraudulent prescriptions in a given day.

According to the plea agreement, Albert wrote prescriptions to people who visited his clinic, his private residence, and a closed chiropractor’s office in Johnson County.

During these visits, Albert performed little to no examination before writing the prescriptions. Patients who returned to the clinic after their initial visits received prescriptions without visiting with Albert at all.

In many cases Albert signed his name to blank prescriptions and had an office assistant fill out the actual prescription.

He also back dated information into his medical files to cover-up the scheme.

During the course of the conspiracy, Albert worked at a Care More Pain Management and shortly after resigning from that clinic he worked at Second Street Enterprises.

The investigation started in 2009 when investigators with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office observed large congregations of people routinely lined up outside Albert’s pain clinic.

Albert will be sentenced on April 18. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.



UPDATE 12/7/11 @ 10 a.m.
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A doctor accused of running a pill mill in Paintsville has filed paperwork to plead guilty to the charge against him.

In July, a U.S District Court Grand Jury in Pikeville indicted Richard Albert on one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

The motion to enter a guilty plea was filed with court officials on Tuesday.

Albert's office was raided in February after several complaints about excessive vehicle and foot traffic in and around the office. Agents confiscated medical records and computers.

Albert could face up to 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Following the indictment, prosecutors said they wanted Albert to forfeit more than $20,000 in cash along with funds he had in 22 bank accounts and four investment accounts.

Albert’s trial was supposed to start next Monday.



UPDATE 7/13/11 @ 10 a.m.
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A doctor accused of running a pill mill in Paintsville has been indicted by a federal court grand jury.

The U.S District Court Grand Jury meeting in Pikeville charged Richard Albert with one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

Albert's office was raided in February after several complaints about excessive vehicle and foot traffic in and around the office. Agents confiscated medical records and computers.

If convicted, Albert faces up to 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Prosecutors also want Albert to forfeit more than $20,000 in cash along with funds he had in 22 bank accounts, and four investment accounts.



UPDATE 6/8/11
PAINTSVILLE,Ky (WSAZ) -- A Paintsville doctor whose clinic was by raided by federal law enforcement officials back in February, now faces criminal charges.

A Federal Criminal Complaint released last Friday, charges Dr. Richard W. Albert with conspiracy to distribute and dispense schedule II controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose between January 1, 2008 and February 16, 2011.

The 21-page affidavit released along with the criminal complaint details the undercover investigation that began in January 2009 after the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office received information from the Paintsville Police Department about what appeared to be a “pill mill” operating at a strip mall in Paintsville, Ky. That investigation then continued through February 1, 2011

The affidavit documents numerous alleged prescription transactions between Dr. Albert and undercover agents at both the Care Management Clinic and Dr. Albert’s home.

Dr. Albert appeared in U.S. District Court in Lexington on June 1 where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

The case now goes to a federal grand jury.

During the February 16, 2011 raid at Dr. Albert’s clinic office, federal, state, and local law enforcement agents confiscated medical records and computer.

Numerous people were also arrested on the clinic’s parking lot. The charges ranged from public intoxication, drug possession, outstanding criminal warrants, and suspended licenses.

Dr. Albert was not charged or arrested during the raid.



UPDATE 2/16/11 @ 5:30 p.m.
PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Two pain clinics raided and more than 30 people arrested -- it happened Wednesday morning in Johnson County.

WSAZ.com's Randy Yohe was there for the search and seizures. And, despite all the charges, the doctors walked away -- at least for now.

This comes the same week that thousands of people petitioned to crack down on clinics.

So, do the latest in a string of regional pain clinic raids show our governments are listening and taking action?

Making a hasty exit and covered with a hoodie, Dr. Richard Albert wanted no part of our camera.

But the pain clinic doctor was not charged with any crime as agents from the DEA, attorney general's office, Paintsville Police, Johnson County Sheriff and Kentucky State Police seized medical files and computers from his offices along Route 321.

Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price says for a few years now, the clinic often gets as busy as a shopping center right before Christmas.

"Sixty, 70, maybe 100 cars a day show up here," Price said. "They line up down the highway … They come from all over -- Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio.”

Less than a mile away, an identical search and seizure was underway at Dr. Rano Bofill's Care More Medical Management Center.
At both clinics, officers made about 30 parking lot arrests.

The charges include outstanding criminal warrants, drug possession and public intoxication.

One officer told us he arrested two people who were totally out of it, with crusted pill crumbs falling out of their noses.

Earlier this week, frustrated county residents handed Johnson County Judge-Executive Tucker Daniel more than 2,000 names on petitions, demanding a local law banning unethical pain clinics.

Daniel says right now, their demands are justifiable, but not constitutional or enforceable.

“We have a zero tolerance for drug abuse and trafficking," Daniel said. "We'll do all that we can legally.”

Some communities have passed laws to regulate pain clinics, but the enforcement needs tested. A few local state legislators in Kentucky and Ohio have pain clinic crackdown laws proposed in Frankfort and Columbus.



ORIGINAL STORY
PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- More than a year of hard work came to fruition as two clinics were raided Wednesday.

Dr. Richard Albert's office on Route 321 and the Care More Medical Management on Teays Brand Road were raided Wednesday morning in Paintsville.

A long, still underway investigation lead to the raids. The DEA, Kentucky Attorney General, Paintsville Police, Johnson County Sheriff and Kentucky State Police worked together on the investigation and raid. All of the entities are currently at the raid sites.

WSAZ.com's Randy Yohe is on the scene and tells us that many people have been arrested. Theses arrests were not associated with the clinic. The people were arrested for charges like public intoxication, pill possession, driving under suspended license and many more charges.

The doctors at these locations have not been arrested or charged.

Officials on the scene also tell WSAZ.com they even had to arrest people who had crushed pills falling out of their noses.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information about these raids.


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