Westmoreland County Doctor Charged with Illegal Prescribing and Fraud

March 1, 2023

HARRISBURG – Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry announced today that Dr. Jessie Kunkel, of Murrysville, Westmoreland County, has been arrested on charges related to writing fraudulent and illegal prescriptions.

“As a medical professional, Dr. Kunkel was trusted to care for her patients and her community,” said Acting AG Henry. “She violated that trust when she used her patients’ identities to gain access to drugs for her own recreational use. Our office will hold accountable any healthcare professional who takes advantage of their position and puts people’s safety at risk. ”

An investigation by the Office of Attorney General revealed that since 2018, Dr. Kunkel had been prescribing patients drugs, such as Adderall and Xanax, and keeping a portion of the pills for herself in exchange for writing the prescription. In several cases, after the patients were no longer receiving prescriptions from the defendant, Kunkel continued to write, fill and pick up the prescriptions for herself without the patients’ knowledge. She frequently used former patients’ health insurance to pay for the drugs. Kunkel also prescribed drugs for people with whom she had personal relationships, without ever evaluating them as a patient, and often overlooking potential health risks.

Kunkel is charged with eight counts of Acquisition of a Controlled Substance by Fraud, Forgery, Deception, or Subterfuge; one count of Sale, Dispensing, Distribution, Prescription or Gift by Any Practitioner Otherwise Authorized By Law So To Do Of Any Controlled Substance to Any Person Known to Such Practitioner to Be or Whom Such Practitioner Has Reason to Know is a Drug Dependent Person; five counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver/ Delivery of a Controlled Substance; five counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver/Delivery of a Controlled Substance; five counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and one count of Insurance Fraud.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Katie Wymard and Senior Deputy Attorney General Todd Goodwin.

All charges are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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