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22 people charged in federal pill mill case

Lexington, Ky (WKYT) - Federal indictments charge several pain clinic owners and doctors with making millions by illegally distributing prescription drugs to Kentuckians.

Five indictments were unsealed, between Friday and late Thursday afternoon, charging 22 defendants, including five pain clinic owners and six doctors, with offenses related to prescription drugs, money laundering and health care fraud.

One of the indictments alleges that Houston, Texas, doctor Linda J. Roos conspired to unlawfully distribute pills to Pike County residents.
Dr. Roos allegedly prescribed more than 125,000 Oxycodone pills from September 2006 until July 2011. She allegedly faxed many of her prescriptions to a pharmacy in Pikeville so the patients who visited her could pick up the pills on their way home from Texas. To limit traveling, Roos often allowed patients to obtain a prescription by faxing her a form.

Dennis and Helen Varney, patients of Dr. Roos, were charged with conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs. Authorities found hundreds of Oxycodone pills while searching the Varney’s residence. Federal agents charged 62-year-old Dennis Varney with multiple counts of distributing Oxycodone pills.

In a second indictment, a Pikeville pharmacy manager, 58-year-old Beverly Lockhart, is accused of conspiring with Pikeville doctor Thad Manning to illegally sell prescription drug samples. In the same indictment, Lockhart is charged with health care fraud conspiracy. That charge stems from allegations Lockhart defrauded Medicare by submitting reimbursement claims for medications the pharmacy never provided to customers.

Another indictment alleges co-owners of a Johnson County pain clinic, 39-year-old Tammy Cantrell and 50-year-old Shelby Lackey, conspired with a doctor to distribute Hydrocodone to Johnson County residents. The US Attorney says the two made nearly $2 million.

A fourth indictment alleges that the co-owners of Auto Accident and Health Care in Auxier, Kentucky, conspired with two doctors. The US Attorney says 34-year-old Ray Douglas Stapleton, and his wife, 33-year-old Tina Marie Stapleton, schemed to unlawfully dispense Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Xanax to Johnson County residents. The indictment says the couple made approximately $1.5 million from
July 2010 through June 2012.

According to yet another indictment, Jody Robinson, 37, a pain clinic owner in Florida, conspired with a doctor to launder money and illegally dispense prescription drugs to patients from Boyd, Greenup, and Lawrence Counties. The clinic allegedly made approximately $2 million in just over a year.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, FDA, Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, DEA, and Kentucky Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Branch. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roger West and Lee Gentry presented the indictments to the grand jury.

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