A Dayton doctor and his wife federally indicted on 20 counts for allegedly running a “pill mill” that saw seven patients die of painkiller drug overdoses pleaded guilty Tuesday in Dayton’s District Court.
Dr. David Kirkwood, 61, and Beverly Kirkwood, 50, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in front of U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice.
Dr. Kirkwood could be sentenced between five and nine years, if Rice accepts the recommended range negotiated between prosecutors and his attorney. Rice said he can sentence Dr. Kirkwood above, below or within that range.
“I will fully consider that recommendation,” Rice told Dr. Kirkwood, “But I want you to understand that I am not bound by that recommendation.”
The restitution owed to the government for health care fraud by the Kirkwoods was calculated at $159,825.03. Dr. Kirkwood’s sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 6.
The maximum consecutive sentences Dr. Kirkwood could face are 30 years in prison and a $1,250,000 fine for the two counts in the plea agreement.
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Those counts are an amended charge of unlawfully distributing controlled substances and health care fraud. Rice said the allegations included that the Kirkwoods prescribed narcotics to drug addicts and those who resold the pills.
The amended count Dr. Kirkwood pleaded guilty to was for unlawfully distributing controlled substances. The amended count got rid of the reference that the distribution led to the 2011 death of Gary Durham.
Prosecutors said the omission of the alleged connected death was part of the plea, not because the government had changed its position.
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Prosecutors said that a sentence for Dr. Kirkwood from five to nine years is an “appropriate resolution to this case.”
Beverly Kirkwood’s attorney calculated his client’s non-binding sentencing range at 18 to 24 months. The maximum sentence is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Her sentencing also is scheduled for Dec. 6 on one count of health care fraud with three counts dismissed.
In October 2012, federal and state agents served a search warrant at the 2838 Linden Ave. office run by Kirkwood and his wife, in what Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine then called a year-long investigation into a suspected “pill mill.” DEA agents were seen removing boxes of what appeared to be records.
The indictment states that the object of the conspiracy was “to make as much money as possible by distributing and dispensing controlled substances such as diazepam, carisoprodol, methadone, opana, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and alprazolam, to patients, other drug users, and conspirators.”
According to the indictment, Kirkwood would charge $100 per office visit and “examine” 60 to 100 patients per day. The Kirkwoods may be forced to forfeit $2.5 million that prosecutors said was collected during the conspiracy.
Those who died from overdoses allegedly from Kirkwood’s prescriptions were: Eula Hoskins, 58, of Dayton; Deborah Goff, 54, of Trotwood; Ronald Jackson, 54, of Dayton; Tyrone Redavide, 45, of Dayton; Gregory Spurlock, 47, of Dayton; Norma Shepherd, 59, of Trotwood; and Durham, 45, of Fairborn, according to the indictment.