8 Tennessee doctors charged in Kentucky drug conspiracy case

Indictment graphic mgnonline

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted eight Tennessee doctors, a nurse and two Kentucky residents in a drug conspiracy case.

Robert Taylor, a doctor who owned two medical clinics in northeastern Tennessee during the time covered in the charges, faces the most charges in the indictment filed last week in federal court in Kentucky, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, citing court documents. His charges include conspiracy to illegally distribute buprenorphine and anti-anxiety drugs; conspiracy to falsify medical records, to launder money and to commit wire fraud and health fraud; money laundering; and taking part in transactions involving property derived from criminal activity.

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Seven other doctors, a nurse and two men from Kentucky were also charged in the case.

The conspiracy involved alleged illegal drug sales in Laurel, Knox and Whitley counties from 2013 to November 2018 that came from prescriptions “not issued for a legitimate medical purpose” by doctors not acting within the usual course of professional practice, the indictment said.

Taylor has denied allegations of improper practices at the clinics.

Attorneys representing Taylor in a civil forfeiture case said in a motion that patients received detailed evaluations, proper treatment and counseling.

“Rather than facts showing criminal activity, the government openly relies on suspicion, conjecture, and statements regarding the practice of medicine that are contradicted, not just by opinion, but by the Tennessee, Kentucky and federal laws that govern office based opioid treatment,” the motion said.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!