53 medical professionals indicted in federal opioid bust: Here's who they are

Dozens of medical professionals in seven states, including 31 physicians, eight nurse practitioners, seven pharmacists and seven other medical workers, were charged April 17 with participating in the unlawful prescribing of more than 32 million pain pills.

A breakdown of the medical professionals by state:

Note: Some indictments have not been unsealed.

Alabama

  • John Cimino, MD, an OB-GYN specialist, is accused of conspiracy and healthcare fraud. He allegedly received kickbacks from a compounding pharmacy when he referred patients to that pharmacy to fill their prescriptions.
  • Celia Lloyd-Turney, MD, the sole physician and medical director at Choice Medicine Clinic in Toney, Ala. She's accused of prescribing opioid pills in excess and leaving signed blank prescription sheets for her staff to use.
  • Elizabeth Korcz, MD, is a family medicine physician at a clinic in Hoover, Ala. The indictment claims the clinic operated primarily as a pill mill, serving up various opioid cocktails for no legitimate medical purpose. The clinic allegedly often stayed open beyond midnight, and the pharmacy within the clinic didn't take insurance.
  • Marshall Plotka, MD, is a physician at Phoenix Emergency Care in Huntsville, Ala. Dr. Plotka is accused of letting people use his home to store, distribute and use illegal drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

Kentucky

  • Scott Akers, MD, owns and operates a pain management clinic in Pikeville, Ky. He allegedly closed the clinic in 2016 and began dispensing prescriptions for pain medication from his home. He's accused of unlawfully distributing opioids
  • Sai Gutti, MD, owns five clinics in eastern Kentucky. He's accused of healthcare fraud by billing Medicare and Medicaid for services not deemed medically necessary.
  • Ijaz Mahood, MD, is a cancer and blood specialist. Dr. Mahood is accused of conspiring with others to defraud government health insurance plans and commercial health plans by submitting false claims. He also is accused of leaving blank prescription forms for his staff to fill out.
  • Mohammed Mazumder, MD, owner of Appalachian Primary Care in Prestonsburg, Ky., faces 10 federal charges, including both Medicare fraud and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.
  • Denver Tackett, DDS, who owns a dental clinic in Kentucky, is accused of prescribing oxycodone and hydrocodone that were not reasonable for the treatment of patient injuries. He also is accused of extracting teeth from patients who had no need for extractions just so he could prescribe opioids for them.

Louisiana

  • Anil Prasad, MD, is a neurologist practicing in Slidell. He also worked at a pain management clinic. Dr. Prasad is accused of committing healthcare fraud from 2016 to 2018 by authorizing medically unnecessary opioid prescriptions.

Ohio

  • Raymond Noschang, MD, an internal medicine physician, is charged with prescribing patients oxycodone without a reasonable medical purpose.

Pennsylvania

  • Tayjha Brown, a former licensed practical nurse, is accused of stealing prescription forms to obtain opioids.

Tennessee

  • Timothy Abbott, MD, a licensed podiatrist with the Tennessee Health Department, is accused of prescribing opioids for no legitimate medical reason.
  • Henry Babenco, MD, a supervising physician at Lafollette (Tenn.) Wellness Center, is accused of illegally distributing opioids from May 2016 to December 2018. He also faces charges of money-laundering $120,000.
  • Thomas Ballard, MD, is the owner of Ballard Clinic-Family practice in Jackson. He is accused of prescribing opioids outside the usual scope of professional practice. He is also accused of seeking sexual favors in exchange for writing prescriptions.
  • Michelle Bonifield, is a pharmacy tech at Mehr Drug Store in Bells, Tenn. She is accused of conspiring with others to distribute opioids outside the course of professional practice.
  • Glenn Bonfield Jr., PharmD, pharmacist at Mehr Drug Store in Bells, Tenn. is accused of conspiring with others to distribute opioids outside the course of professional practice.
  • Charles Brooks, MD, who had his license suspended in 2019 for letting physicians forge his name on blank prescriptions, was charged with distributing opioids and other controlled substances outside the scope of medical practice.
  • Gregory Madron, the clinic manager at Lafollette Wellness Center and is accused of illegally distributing opioids from May 2016 to December 2018.
  • Heather Marks, RN, is a nurse practitioner accused of prescribing opioids to patients without a legitimate medical purpose.
  • Steven Mynatt, MD,  was charged with illegally distributing opioids between December 2015 and March 2019.
  • Sharon Naylor, RN, a nurse at Lafollette Wellness Center is accused of illegally distributing opioids from May 2016 to December 2018.
  • David Newman, MD, was charged with illegally distributing opioids between December 2015 and March 2018.
  • Brittney Petway, a nurse practitioner, is accused of issuing prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and other drugs at Superior Health and Wellness Clinic in Jackson, without a medical need.
  • John Polston, PharmD, a pharmacist in charge of Dale Hollow Pharmacy, is accused of knowingly distributing pain meds without authority.
  • Brian Richey, is a nurse practitioner accused of scheming to illegally make money from submitting false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.
  • Darrel Rinehard, MD, an internist, is accused of routinely prescribing highly addictive opioids without reason to do so.
  • Daniel Seeley, is a nurse practitioner accused of scheming to illegally make money from submitting false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.
  • Jay Shires, MD, the part owner of Downtown Medical Clinic in Bells, is accused of knowingly supervising a nurse practitioner who was illegally prescribing opioids.
  • Alicia Taylor, is a physician assistant at Lafollette Wellness Center and is accused of illegally distributing opioids from May 2016 to December 2018.
  • Johnathan White, is a nurse practitioner accused of scheming to illegally make money from submitting false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.
  • Harrison Yang, MD, is charged with writing prescriptions for opioids for patients who did not need them.
  • Jefferey Young, a nurse practitioner is accused of traiding opioids for sex.

West Virginia

  • Chad Poage, DO, a physician specializing in osteopathy, is accused of illegally writing prescriptions for two people for acetaminophen-codeine. He allegedly used the prescriptions for himself.
  • Marc Spelar, MD, a psychiatrist is accused of illegal drug distribution.

Read the list here.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
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HHS hit with class-action complaint over suspended Medicare payments
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