In the city of Sulphur Springs Doctor Don M. O’Neal was arrested by the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department this week for violating terms of his court-ordered probation.
According to court records, O’Neal failed to pay $800,000 in restitution as ordered by the court. The embattled physician had previously pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to felony misuse of fiduciary property of more than $200,000 and was initially given a deadline of August 12, 2012 to pay the restitution.
At the time of his felony plea, O’Neal was also ordered by Judge Robert Newson to not sell any of his properties or assets in order to pay the fine. The prosecutor in the case, Martin Braddy, told the court that O’Neal ignored the order and attempted to do so anyway.
As far back as 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration was investigating O’Neal following a report by a pharmacist of suspicious narcotic prescription activity. The DEA investigators discovered 80% of O’Neal’s patients were receiving high dosages of oxycodone, hydrocodone, benzodiazepines and methadone.
The following year O’Neal was able to evade criminal charges by surrendering his certificate to prescribe narcotics.
O’Neal was employed by the Sulphur Springs Medical-Surgical Clinic, which specializes in nursing home patient treatment. He was originally arrested on more than 30 felony counts, including fraudulently using the license of another doctor.
In April 2010, O’Neal was arrested again and charged with 20 more counts of fraud for ordering and administering narcotics with no valid DEA license.
O’Neal has been released from jail on a $25,000 bond. The possible prison sentence for a first-degree felony offense is up to 99 years.
# # #