Haysville Doctor and Wife Sentenced in Deadly Prescription Overdoses
OCT 25 - (WICHITA, KS) – A Haysville, Kan., physician and his wife have been sentenced to federal prison for illegally distributing prescription pain killers to patients who overdosed on them, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Stephen J. Schneider , 57, was sentenced to 30 years. His wife, Linda K. Schneider , 52, was sentenced to 33 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Monti L. Belot pronounced sentence during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Wichita.
“The Schneider’s put money before medicine,” U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. “They illegally dispensed prescription pain killers without a medical purpose and without regard to the fact their patients were suffering from physical and mental conditions that made them vulnerable to the risks of addiction, overdose and death.”
“Judge Belot described it well,” Grissom added, “when he called it the story of an avoidable tragedy motivated by greed.”
In June 2010, after a trial that lasted eight weeks, a jury returned guilty verdicts against the Schneider’s on charges including conspiracy, unlawful distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud and money laundering. They were taken into custody pending sentencing.
The government’s case focused on 21 of 68 patients who died of drug overdoses, and examined how the Schneider’s illegally dispensed controlled prescription drugs, including Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), Morphine (Avinza), Methadone, Hydrocodone (Lortab), Diazepam (Valium), Alprazolam (Xanax), and Clonazepam (Klonopin).
During trial, the government’s case centered on the years from 2002 to 2008, when Stephen Schneider saw patients and Linda Schneider, a licensed practical nurse, managed the business of Schneider Medical Clinic at 7030 S. Broadway in Haysville. Prosecutors presented evidence that the Schneider’s billed more than $4 million to Medicaid and other health insurance providers while they operated the clinic unlawfully, distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose, falsifying insurance claims, and engaging in unlawful financial transactions with the proceeds of the crimes. Grissom commended the following agencies and individuals who worked on the case: The Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kansas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tanya Treadway, Jon P. Fleenor, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jabari Wamble, who prosecuted the case.