A physician who owned a Hazard pain clinic pleaded guilty Tuesday to laundering money generated from improper prescribing by another doctor at the facility.
James Dustin "Dusty" Chaney said in a plea agreement that he "deliberately closed his eyes" to the fact that Andrew Krasuski was overprescribing powerful pain pills at Clarion Health and Wellness LLC, which Chaney owned.
The plea agreement said Chaney opened Clarion in late 2010 with the intent of running a legitimate clinic providing interventional pain treatment, but he could not recruit qualified doctors.
"He was not running a pill mill," said Chaney's attorney, Mark Wohlander. "He never, ever in his wildest imagination thought this would happen."
But Chaney acknowledged he did not pay close enough attention to activities at the clinic, including Krasuski's prescribing practices, and Chaney regrets that, Wohlander said.
The maximum penalty on the money-laundering charge would be 20 years in prison. The sentence for Chaney, who sold the practice in 2012, will likely be far less under his plea agreement.
He also agreed to forfeit $40,000 to the government.
Chaney was indicted with Krasuski, an obstetrician by training, and Benny Ray Bailey Jr., who was the office manager at Clarion.
Chaney said in his plea agreement that another doctor refused to re-issue the prescriptions Krasuski had written.
Chaney checked on some of the drug orders Krasuski wrote and told him to lower the dosages, the plea agreement said.
However, clinic employees and a local pharmacy also cautioned Chaney that Krasuski might be overprescribing pain medication, the plea document said.
Chaney did not immediately close the clinic and used the money coming in to pay off loans, the plea agreement said.
Bailey pleaded guilty in March to money laundering.
He said in his plea deal that he raised concerns with Chaney about Krasuski writing improper prescriptions, but Chaney rebuffed him.
Bailey has not been sentenced.
Krasuski planned to plead guilty but committed suicide this year.
Wohlander said he plans to sue Bailey over more than $100,000 he allegedly took from the clinic.
Bailey's attorney has said Bailey denies stealing money from the clinic.