8 doctors charged in Kentucky drug conspiracy case

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted eight Tennessee doctors, a nurse and two Kentucky residents in a drug conspiracy case.

Robert Taylor, a doctor who owned two medical clinics in northeastern Tennessee during the time covered in the charges, faces the most charges in the indictment filed last week in federal court in Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, citing court documents. His charges include conspiracy to illegally distribute buprenorphine and anti-anxiety drugs; conspiracy to falsify medical records, to launder money and to commit wire fraud and health fraud; money laundering; and taking part in transactions involving property derived from criminal activity.

Seven other doctors, a nurse and two men from Kentucky were also charged in the case.

The conspiracy involved alleged illegal drug sales in Laurel, Knox and Whitley counties from 2013 to November 2018 that came from prescriptions “not issued for a legitimate medical purpose” by doctors not acting within the usual course of professional practice, the indictment said.

Taylor has denied allegations of improper practices at the clinics.

Attorneys representing Taylor in a civil forfeiture case said in a motion that patients received detailed evaluations, proper treatment and counseling.

“Rather than facts showing criminal activity, the government openly relies on suspicion, conjecture, and statements regarding the practice of medicine that are contradicted, not just by opinion, but by the Tennessee, Kentucky and federal laws that govern office based opioid treatment,” the motion said.