PORTLAND — A former Portland podiatrist entered a not guilty plea in federal court this morning to drug and health care fraud charges arising from the alleged writing of illegal prescriptions.
John Perry, 50, had been indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, health care fraud and 43 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.
Perry wrote prescriptions with no medical purpose, traded prescriptions for cash and cocaine and fabricated patient charts to cover the illegal prescriptions, all while practicing at his business, Atlantic Foot & Ankle Center in Portland, during 2009 and 2010, according to the indictment.
The indictment lists 43 alleged illicit prescriptions. Perry allegedly illegally dispensed a total of 2,780 30-milligram oxycodone pills, 180 Dilaudid pills and 30 Xanax pills. Perry was among a group of men police found at the now-closed Dreamers Cabaret in Westbrook in December, after it had been shut down for code violations.
Perry wrote prescriptions at locations that included bars and a strip club and charged some people at least $500 for an oxycodone prescription, according to the indictment.
Perry entered the courtroom this morning in orange jail clothes, ankle shackles and with his hands behind his back in handcuffs, which were removed. He provided brief answers to procedural questions from Magistrate Judge John Rich III.
After the brief proceeding, Leonard Sharon, Perry’s lawyer, said they were looking forward to receiving the discovery and evaluating the government’s case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Joyce declined to comment.
Perry’s detention hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday. The government is asking that he be held without bail, saying that that there are no conditions that could guarantee the safety of the community or that he appears for court.
Sharon, however, said that Perry poses no risk of flight. The lawyer noted that Perry has been aware of the investigation for over a year.
The conspiracy charge and all but one of the drug distribution charges carry maximum sentences of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine each. The health care fraud charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.