June 22, 2013

Former Portland podiatrist sentenced to 8 years in prison

John Perry gets eight years for illegally prescribing oxycodone.

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — A former podiatrist who wrote drug prescriptions in exchange for cash and cocaine was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison.

John Perry, 52, pleaded guilty on Dec. 4 to one count of drug conspiracy, one count of health care fraud and seven counts of unlawful distribution of oxycodone.

Perry was a licensed podiatrist until 2011 and owned Atlantic Foot and Ankle in Portland until December 2010. In 2009 and 2010, he was responsible for the illegal distribution of more than 18,000 oxycodone pills, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors said in a court filing that if the case had gone to trial, they would have presented evidence that Perry prescribed oxycodone and other drugs without any medical purpose in the names of patients he never treated.

In exchange, Perry received money or cocaine for his own use, court records show.

Perry was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court. In addition to the federal prison sentence, Judge George Singal ordered Perry to pay $7,580 in restitution and serve three years under supervision after his release.

Prosecutors said Perry prescribed oxycodone pills to a group of drug traffickers based in Connecticut. Some of the prescriptions were written in the names of the primary drug traffickers, and others were written in the names of Maine-based conspirators whom he recruited to fill prescriptions.

The oxycodone was prescribed outside Perry's medical practice and for no legitimate medical purpose, according to court documents. To conceal his illegal prescription writing, Perry fabricated patient charts for many of the people.

Members of the conspiracy filled the prescriptions at pharmacies throughout southern Maine and distributed the pills with Perry's knowledge.

The government said it also would have presented evidence that Perry developed a scheme to defraud pharmacies and Maine's health insurance program.

Court records say Perry wrote prescriptions for oxycodone in 2009 and 2010 that were filled at Rite Aid, CVS, Hannaford, Shaw's and Community Pharmacy stores. Some of those prescriptions were paid for with MaineCare and Medicare funds.

Prosecutors say Perry's fraudulent prescriptions caused MaineCare and Medicare funds to be spent for controlled substances that he knew were not medically necessary.

Perry was living in Cumberland when his home and office were raided by federal drug agents in November 2010.

In March 2011, Perry pleaded guilty to operating under the influence and was sentenced to two days in jail.

About a month later, Perry's medical license was suspended by the Board of Podiatric Medicine.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

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