Ozark Nurse Convicted of Illegally Providing Prescriptions to Clinic Patients
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – An Ozark, Mo., woman has been convicted following a bench trial of illegally providing prescriptions to patients at Ozark Community Hospital Christian County Clinic.
Kimberly G. Hoffer, 51, was found guilty following a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on July 19, 2023. The court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law today, finding Hoffer guilty of one count of conspiracy to use a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number issued to another person in connection with the distribution of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose.
At the time of the offense, Hoffer was employed as a licensed practical nurse at the Christian County Clinic by co-defendant Randall E. Halley, 66, a Nixa, Mo., physician. Halley has pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement related to healthcare and one count of conspiracy to use a registration number issued to another person in connection with the distribution of a controlled substance. He was sentenced on Sept. 13, 2022, to one year and one day in federal prison and ordered to pay fines totaling $150,000 and to pay $400,565 in restitution to Medicare.
According to court documents, Halley was only present at the Nixa clinic, at most, two days of each week, as he was paid to provide care at several area nursing homes and regularly accepted additional money to travel and speak on behalf of pharmaceutical companies.
Halley conspired with his employees at the clinic to use his registration number so they could provide prescription medication in his absence. Despite Halley’s absence at his clinic on three days of the week, and sometimes more, he directed clinic employees to continue scheduling patient visits on those days. Some of these patient visits were conducted by employees of the clinic who could not legally prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. Halley directed them to write out prescriptions several days ahead of these office visits and he would pre-sign these prescriptions. Then, when the patient came into the clinic for their office visit, the employees would conduct the visit and issue the pre-signed prescriptions, all without Halley conducting an examination of the patient.
Three former employees have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy to use Halley’s DEA registration number to issue prescriptions. Nurse practitioner Nga (Lily) A. Nguyen, 44, and nurse practitioner Susan Gail Morris, 64, both of Springfield, and licensed practical nurse Amber N. Moeschler, 40, of Ozark, have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Under federal statutes, Hoffer is subject to a sentence of up to 24 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
The DEA investigated this case with the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and the FBI.