In Denver Colorado the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to overturn the convictions of Doctor Stephen J Schneider and his wife Linda, who owned and operated a medical clinic in the city of Haysville Kansas. They were found complicit in the drug overdose deaths of at least 68 “patients”, and were sent to prison in 2010.
The Schneiders’ attorneys had appealed their case. But a three-judge panel of the Federal court ruled last week to uphold the original Kansas state court decision.
Court records show that U.S. District Judge Monti Belot agreed with the prosecution in the trial 6 years ago, that the Schneiders ran the Schneider Medical Clinic as a drug-dealing front under the guise of a legitimate clinic, with no concern whatsoever for either proper medical protocols, or the safety of their so-called patients. Evidence at trial revealed that the Schneiders were well aware, for example, that people were turning around and routinely selling their prescriptions in the clinic’s parking lot.
Doctor Stephen Schneider, a pain management specialist, along with his wife Linda, a nurse, opened the clinic in 2002 in the small town of Haysville. Among other crimes, they instructed their staff members to issue prescription slips to people, which Schneider had pre-signed, for days when he was not in the clinic at all.
According to the prosecution, at least 100 of their so-called patients were taken to the local emergency room for overdoses, many by ambulance, and 68 of them died. In spite of the warnings by family members, law enforcement and ER doctors over the course of 5 years, that their patients were dying at a stunning rate, the Schneiders continued writing narcotic prescriptions for bogus patients by the thousands – dozens and dozens each day.
Finally in 2010, the Schneiders were found guilty of Healthcare Fraud resulting in death, Illegal Prescription Dispensing resulting in death, and Money Laundering.
Doctor Stephen Schneider, now age 63, sits behind bars at the Forrest City Correctional Institution in Arkansas. He was sentenced to 30 years. His wife Linda now 59, must serve 33 years at Carswell Federal Medical Center in Texas. They will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Here’s another look at this all-too-common doctor drug-pusher case:
Here’s an excellent story in the New Yorker: