Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians


March 6, 2013

Dauphin County dentist arrested on charges of prescription drug abuse

Allegedly prescribed powerful prescription narcotics without examinations

Harrisburg, PA - A Dauphin County dentist, who allegedly prescribed powerful prescription narcotics to "patients" that he never physically examined, has been arrested by state narcotics agents. 

Dr. DinelloThe dentist is identified as Donald Dinello Jr., 45, 1321 Fox Glen Road, Hummelstown. Dinello practices dentistry at Oral Surgery Associates, 1253 Cocoa Ave., Hershey, Dauphin County.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged illegal activity was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges filed against Dr. Dinello.

According to the grand jury, between April 2008 and January 2012, Dr. Dinello wrote at least 71 prescriptions for Oxycodone totaling approximately 2,700 pills to treat one of his employees for back pain. Additionally, Dr. Dinello wrote at least 17 Hydrocodone prescriptions (140 tablets) and more than 400 tablets of varying strengths of Oxycodone for the employee's husband. Dr. Dinello allegedly never performed an examination on either individual, and prescribed the drugs for conditions that he was not authorized to treat.

Additionally, Dr. Dinello allegedly failed to record any of the 88 prescriptions written to the couple.

The grand jury also found that Dr. Dinello wrote prescriptions to other employees for dental related procedures, but did not record those scripts as required by law.

Additionally, the investigation revealed that Dr. Dinello allegedly stole dental supplies from Oral Surgery Associates, without the knowledge of his partner, and sold them at a discounted rate to another dental office, where he was also employed.

The grand jury found that Dr. Dinello deposited nearly $55,000 of the dental supply proceeds into his own personal bank accounts.

Dr. Dinello is charged with two counts of administering, dispensing, or prescribing a controlled substance not in accordance with treatment principles accepted by a responsible medical professional, one count of failure to keep records of distribution of controlled substances, one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, and one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.

The case will be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Adams of the Attorney General's Drug Strike Force Section.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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