Crime

Two doctors charged with illegal prescribing at Georgetown clinic

Two doctors who worked at a now-defunct pain clinic in Georgetown took part in a conspiracy to illegally distribute large quantities of pain pills several years ago, a federal grand jury has charged.

The grand jury indicted Alan Arnold Godofsky and Alan Craig Schold last week in Lexington.

Both also were charged with illegally distributing prescription drugs, Godofsky in six counts and Schold in three.

The most serious charges carry a top sentence of 20 years.

The two, anesthesiologists by training, worked at Central Kentucky Bariatric & Pain Management in 2011 and 2012. Ernest William Singleton owned the Georgetown facility.

Singleton is a registered nurse who worked at what was then Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington before being fired in 2006, according to a court record.

Court records indicate authorities began investigating Singleton in 2011 after pharmacists reported concerns his Georgetown facility was a pill mill. Some pharmacists had refused to fill prescriptions from the clinic.

A pill mill is a place that caters to drug addicts, with doctors writing prescriptions for powerful pain pills and other narcotics after doing little or no physical examination. They usually operate on a cash-only basis.

Singleton allegedly charged $250 in cash for an initial visit and $200 for each monthly follow-up, and pressured doctors to see as many patients as possible.

Gregory Bruce White, a doctor who worked for Singleton, said Singleton told him and others to spend no more than five minutes with returning patients, according to a court record.

White said he saw more than 92 patients one day, acknowledging that was far too many to allow him to provide adequate care.

Trial testimony showed that more than 1.3 million oxycodone pills were distributed through Singleton’s clinics from December 2010 to March 2012, according to court records.

Singleton also operated the Grant County Wellness Center in Dry Ridge.

He closed the clinics while under investigation, but was convicted in June 2013 on more than 20 charges, including drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering and maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing drugs.

Singleton, 48, is serving a 20-year prison sentence. He is scheduled to be released in November 2030.

Singleton fought the charges and has continued to do so since going to prison.

Two other doctors who worked for Singleton, Gregory Bruce White and Lea Ann Marlow, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute prescription pills improperly.

White was sentenced to five years. He is scheduled for release in October.

Marlow has finished a three-year prison sentence.

The website of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure shows that Godofsky and Schold denied during a 2012 proceeding that they did anything wrong at the Georgetown clinic, but acknowledged a panel could find they violated state law.

Each agreed to indefinite restrictions on his licenses and paid a $10,000 fine.

The licensure board lists the two as inactive.

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