Georgetown physician pleads guilty to illegal distribution of pain pills

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comJune 3, 2013 

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A physician who practiced at pain clinics in Georgetown and Dry Ridge pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to conspiring to dispense oxycodone pain pills that were not for a legitimate medical purpose.

Lea Ann Marlow, who will be sentenced in September, faces up to 71 months in prison.

Marlow saw patients primarily at Central Kentucky Bariatric and Pain Management in Georgetown four days a week and filled in at Grant County Wellness Clinic in Dry Ridge.

Marlow was hired on February 21, 2012, and continued her employment through December 7, 2012.

The offenses with which she was charged occurred between April 2012 and July 2012, court documents said.

Both clinics operated on a cash basis and no insurance was accepted. New patients were charged approximately $300 for the first visit and $250 for each subsequent visit and patients were scheduled for monthly appointments, the plea agreement said.

According to the plea agreement, Marlow would often sign a blank prescription form that was to be filled in by the clinic staff employees.

At one point, she agreed to see more patients, even though she already was under pressure by the clinic owner to spend only five minutes with returning patients, according to the plea.

"Defendant knew that by agreeing to see more patients she would not have enough time to provide adequate patient care," the guilty plea said.

The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure revoked Marlow's license in May, according to board documents.

Ernest William Singleton, the clinics' owner who is not a physician, has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including distributing oxycodone and conspiring to launder money.

Singleton's trial began in U.S. District Court in Lexington on Monday.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter:@vhspears

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