January 16, 2014
Berks County orthopedic surgeon, patient arrested for prescription drug abuse scheme
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and Berks County District Attorney John Adams today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigations arrested a West Reading surgeon accused of writing and subsidizing more than $43,000 in narcotics prescriptions for a patient in exchange for yard work.
Attorney General Kane identified the defendants as Dr. Leonard J. Marchinski, 57, 6 Forrest Road, Mohnton, Berks County and Edward Kamin, 58, 5 E. Penn Ave., Wernersville, Berks County.
The criminal charges state that between 2005 and 2012, Dr. Marchinski wrote prescriptions for Kamin for more than 153,000 oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and alprazolam (Xanax) tablets. Dr. Marchinski also allegedly failed to document any prescriptions he was writing for Kamin, or examine him in his office.
According to the criminal complaint, Dr. Marchinski wrote numerous prescriptions for Kamin on weekends and holidays without examining him, drove Kamin to numerous pharmacies throughout Berks County, and provided more than $43,000 in cash to have them filled. The charges state the two would then return to Dr. Marchinski's home, where Kamin would often do yard work, despite being treated for chronic back pain.
Investigators said the case likely involved prescriptions for thousands more tablets of hydrocodone and alprazolam - both Schedule III drugs - but that unlike other states, Pennsylvania does not have any means to track Schedule III, IV and V controlled substances. Agents investigating Dr. Marchinski and Kamin instead had to visit local pharmacies to track the Schedule III drugs purchased. Attorney General Kane reiterated her support for a prescription monitoring program in the Commonwealth because it would serve as an additional tool to enable health practitioners and law enforcement in determining the types of prescriptions an individual under investigation is potentially abusing, which doctors and pharmacies they are "shopping," and how often the prescriptions are obtained.
Dr. Marchinski is charged with two counts of prescribing a controlled substance not in accordance with treatment principles, two counts of criminal conspiracy to obtain by fraud and one count of failure to keep records.
Kamin is charged with two counts of obtaining by fraud, two counts of conspiracy to obtain by fraud and two counts of possession with intent to deliver.
Both defendants were preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Timothy Dougherty.
Attorney General Kane thanked the Berks County District Attorney's Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency for their assistance with the investigation.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)
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