The old saying goes that doctors are lucky in that they can bury their mistakes. That is often the case, but not always. A couple of recent situations involving guys in white coats were so outrageous that the gentlemen involved are now marking time in that big waiting room known as the criminal justice system.
The first case involves Dr. Robert Wayne Locklear of Greeneville, Tennessee. The 43-year-old, who practiced in both Tennessee and Virginia, was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine, according to a plea agreement. He went from the occasional puff on a crack pipe to smoking the stuff on a daily basis — before, during and after work. He admitted to seeing patients “with a buzz.”
When he was wasted, the good doctor had his office staff see patients even though they were not licensed or trained to do so.
Locklear was arrested in June 2013 with approximately 6.4 grams of crack cocaine and several crack pipes in his pockets. He got 24 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute crack and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and was also ordered to pay $121,958.70 in restitution to TennCare and Medicare.
In the other case, only an indictment at this point, Louisville, Kentucky, physician George Kudmani, 69, allegedly concocted a plan to defraud Medicare that resulted in the death of a patient. The charges include unlawful distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud and money laundering.
According to the charge, Kudmani fraudulently submitted claims for medically unnecessary services and dispensed medically unnecessary controlled substance prescriptions to the patient, in exchange for money, knowing that the patient would fill her prescriptions at pharmacies and pharmacies in turn would submit claims to health care programs for reimbursement. It’s alleged that those prescriptions ultimately caused the patient’s death.
In addition, Kudmani is charged with money laundering for purchasing a 2012 Honda Accord with $15,000 in cash and a $5,971.63 check from money derived from an unlawful activity — the unlawful dispensing and distribution of controlled substances and health care fraud.
Can’t these guys make a decent living without resorting to illegal activities? Do the oaths they took mean nothing to them? Maybe a little time treating inmates in the prison infirmary will help them see the error of their ways.