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Kentucky Doctor Sentenced to 75 Months for Pill Conspiracy

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Frankfort, KY (WorkersCompensation.com) - A former Paintsville, Ky., doctor, who previously admitted that he unlawfully dispensed approximately 50,000 prescription pills to individuals in Eastern Kentucky, was sentenced today to 75 months in prison, to be followed by three years supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar sentenced 66-year-old Richard Albert for conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances. Albert also agreed to forfeit more $630,000, which represents proceeds from his conspiracy. Albert was also ordered to pay $100,000 in community restitution.

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 (10 milligram) Percocet pills in exchange for $200 cash. Court records indicate that Albert frequently wrote approximately 40 to 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 Care More Pain Management; and after resigning from Care More, he opened his own pain clinic. Albert was employed by Care More Pain Management owners Tammy Cantrell, of Oil Springs, Ky., and Shelby Lackey, of Williamsport, Ky. They pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to distribute and unlawfully dispense Oxycodone and maintaining a drug involved premise.

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

Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Jack Conway, Kentucky Attorney General and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, jointly announced the plea.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the Kentucky Attorney General's Office and the Paintsville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger West represented the U.S. Attorney's Office in this case.

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