Doctor found not guilty of illegally prescribing medication
A doctor who was charged with illegally prescribing medication to a staff member out of an East Liberty women’s clinic was found not guilty on all counts Wednesday.
John P. Barrett, 42, of Mt. Lebanon was charged in March with three counts, including selling a controlled substance, illegally dispensing and illegally administering a controlled substance.
According to the criminal complaint, the Allegheny Women’s Center, at 121 N. Highland Ave., which has since closed, was receiving large quantities of Diethylpropion, an obesity medication. There were approximately 20,000 pills unaccounted for over a four-year period from the clinic.
Investigators said they found the medicine was being used by Mark Wagner, a lab tech, who took it to treat anxiety and depression.
But prosecutors said Mr. Wagner was not a patient of Dr. Barrett, the clinic’s director, or Dr. Alton Lawson, and that the man’s psychiatrist was not aware he was taking the medication.
In July, Dr. Lawson pleaded guilty to two count of sale of a controlled substance and entered the court’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which will clear his record after nine month of successful probation.
Mr. Wagner pleaded guilty in May to five misdemeanor counts and was sentenced to five years probation. He told investigators that he used the drug but also sold it to a friend to help her lose weight.
Dr. Barrett had a nonjury trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani on Wednesday.
Defense attorney Steven C. Townsend called no witnesses, but argued to the court that even though his client’s DEA number was used to order medications for the clinic, that did not mean he was aware Mr. Wagner was using it, abusing it or not an actual patient of Dr. Lawson.
There were a lot of people who cooperate(d) and will likely not ever engage in this type of conduct, but really? Another corporate entity, including it’s executives, are buying there way out of jail.
United States Announces $15 Million Penalty and Non-Prosecution Agreement with Krones
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Krones Aktiengesellschaft, a company based in Neutraubling, Germany, and its American subsidiary, Krones, Inc., of Franklin, Wisconsin (hereinafter collectively Krones), have entered into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which resolves allegations arising from Krones’ involvement in the fraudulent scheme perpetrated by Gregory Podlucky and others, which resulted in the failure in 2006 of Le-Nature’s Inc., U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Under the terms of the NPA Krones will pay a $15 million monetary penalty to the United States. In addition, Krones will pay restitution to entities the U.S. Attorney’s Office asserts suffered losses as a result of Krones conduct with Le-Natures.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, during 2004-2006, Krones cooperated with Gregory Podlucky and Le-Nature’s in deceiving lenders over the cost of bottling equipment being manufactured for use at Le-Nature’s plants. Lenders financing the equipment were told cost amounts by Podlucky, confirmed by Krones, approximately twice as much as the actual cost. Krones then received the excessive payments as the manufacturing process progressed, kept funds to cover the equipment, and forwarded the additional approximately $118 million to Le-Nature’s.
U.S. Attorney Hickton said, “Fifteen million dollars is the largest financial penalty ever imposed in this District. We entered into this agreement with Krones because we are satisfied the penalty is of a magnitude adequate to deter Krones from becoming an instrument of a criminal scheme in the future, as well as to deter others from transacting business by deceitful means. Also entering into the balance in making this agreement was Krones’ cooperation with our investigation, and its own internal management changes which we believe help make unlikely any similar conduct by the company in the future.
“In addition to the penalty to be paid to the United States, as a condition precedent to the NPA, Krones has resolved civil litigation arising from the same transactions, and will make payments which essentially provide for the victims of the scheme to recover restitution for their losses. In total, the cost to Krones for its conduct will be approximately $125 million.
“The financial marketplace operates on a bedrock principle of good faith. Those who do not meet that standard should understand the United States will hold them to account.
“I want to acknowledge the skill and diligence of the investigators from the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation, whose efforts over several years have served the public interest so well, and enabled us to achieve this significant result today, as well as in previous prosecutions related to the Le-Nature’s scandal.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Y. Garrett and Robert S. Cessar are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 135, the second phase of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative that will redirect funds from corrections to communities.
Corbett also signed into law several other pieces of legislation, all related to Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system.
“These reforms are all part of a philosophy that says justice, in order to work, must be administered with firmness, compassion and common sense,” Corbett said. “We need to be smarter, more adaptable and more determined to solve crime and prevent crime.”
Accompanied by Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, several members of the General Assembly and others who sponsored or advocated for the legislation, Corbett signed the bills into law today at Harrisburg Area Community College.
Wetzel, along with the lawmakers, Sens. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Bucks), Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester), Daylin Leach (D-Delaware), as well as Reps. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), Thomas Caltagierone (D-Berks) and Glen Grell (R-Cumberland), were all outspoken advocates of Justice Reinvestment.
In January, Corbett established a working group, including cabinet members, lawmakers from all four legislative caucuses and local criminal justice leaders. With support from the Council of State Governments, the Pew Center on the States and the Department of Justice, the group studied Pennsylvania’s current judicial system and recommended ways to make it more efficient and effective.
Once implemented, funds generated from savings in the state prison system can then be redirected back to local communities to be used for law enforcement, probation, parole and victims’ services.
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Also attending today’s event with the governor were cadets from the 102nd class of HACC’s Municipal Police Academy. Graduates of the academy earn certification to work for Pennsylvania’s municipal police departments.
In addition to the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, Corbett also signed the following legislative bills that passed this term:
House Bill 815 – This legislation amends the crimes code to broaden penalties, further providing for the prosecution of the sexual abuse of children and providing for the offense of transmission of sexually explicit images by a minor, also known as sexting.
House Bill 898 – Restores a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for those convicted of making repeat straw purchases of firearms. Earlier this year in Montgomery County, Plymouth Township Police Officer Brad Fox was shot and killed by a man who purchased an illegally acquired gun.
House Bill 1121 – Provides sentencing enhancements for crimes of violence or drug dealing committed in association with a criminal gang.
House Bill 2400 – This updates Pennsylvania’s wiretap law, to reflect new technology and further provide for definitions of the law, as well as the possession, sale, and distribution of devices.
Senate Bill 86 – Updates the Motor Vehicle Code’s chop shop language, offering a broader definition to include vehicles, trailers and semitrailers, as well as outlining specific guidelines for inspection and searches of garages and repair shops.
House Bill 1794 – Act providing for HIV-related testing for certain sex offenders. This brings Pennsylvania into compliance with the Violence Against Women Act, allowing for the testing of certain sexual offenders within 48 hours after criminal information is filed.
House Bill 235 – This legislation provides for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Notification Act; imposing duties on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to develop a response plan to help victims.
Senate Bill 850 – Provides sentencing exceptions for minors convicted of murder, providing options for judges rather than the mandatory life in prison; expungement for certain juvenile offenders, sentencing enhancements for murder of a child under the age of 13 and provides the victim advocate with the authority to advocate for victims of juvenile crimes.
Senate Bill 941–Increases fines for public drunkenness and underage drinking. The bill also makes it a summary offense if a person less than 21 years, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses or knowingly and intentionally transports alcoholic beverages. Currently a summary offense carries a fine of not more than $300 unless otherwise provided and this legislation increases it to $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for second and subsequent offenses.