Former Doctor Sentenced for Unlawfully Distributing Controlled Substances

A former medical doctor was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

According to court documents, Darrel R. Rinehart, 66, of Indianapolis, Indiana, admitted to distributing Schedule II controlled substances, primarily opioids, to four different patients without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the course of professional practice on 18 different occasions between December 2014 and December 2015. Rinehart also admitted to knowingly distributing hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, in January 2016 to a patient who did not have any significant underlying health issues justifying the prescription.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and District Attorney General for Tennessee’s 22nd Judicial District investigated the case.

Assistant Chief Kilby Macfadden and Trial Attorney Leslie Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program nearly $19 billion.

The Fraud Section leads the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force. Since its inception in October 2018, the ARPO Strike Force, which operates in 10 districts, has charged more than 85 defendants who are collectively responsible for distributing more than 65 million pills. Since its inception in March 2007, the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for approximately $19 billion. In addition, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-Office of Inspector General, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

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Author: June 16, 2021

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