Couple sentenced for roles in illegal prescription drug distribution
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 48-year-old Kentucky doctor and his 33-year-old wife and
former office manager were sentenced to 60 and 32 months respectively in prison Wednesday for their roles in unlawfully distributing controlled substances during a time when the defendants did not have a legitimate medical practice.
Dr. Scotty Akers and Serissa Akers, his wife and former office manager, both of Pikeville, Kentucky, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier of the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Wier also ordered Scotty Akers to forfeit $12,275. Both defendants pleaded guilty on Aug. 7, 2020 to charges of unlawfully distributing controlled substances.
As part of their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted to using Facebook messenger and other messaging applications to sell prescriptions for opioids.
According to their plea agreements, Serissa Akers exchanged prescriptions written by Scotty Akers for cash in parking lots around Pikeville.
The defendants also admitted Scotty Akers performed no physicial examinations that would justify these parking-lot prescriptions, and failed to engage in other measures that prevent the abuse and diversion of opioids.
The defendants continued operating their opioid-delivery scheme even after they came under investigation and up until the moment when Scotty Akers’s medical license was suspended.
HHS-OIG, DEA and Kentucky MFCU investigated the case. Trial Attorney Dermot Lynch and Assistant Chief Kate Payerle of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Smith of the Eastern District of Kentucky are prosecuting the case.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Atlanta Field Office, Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Detroit Field Division, and Executive Director W. Bryan Hubbard of the Kentucky Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) made the announcement.