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Kansas Doctor Charged in Deadly Prescription Drug Overdoses
Date:12/20/2007

Federal indictment says physician Stephen Schneider continued unlawfully prescribing pain medications as 56 patients died from accidental overdoses

WICHITA, Kan., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Haysville, Kan., physician was charged today with illegally distributing prescription drugs to his patients, directly causing the deaths of at least four of them.

Stephen J. Schneider, 54, and his wife, Linda K. Schneider, 49, both of Haysville were arrested Thursday after a federal grand jury in Topeka returned a 34-count indictment. They will make an initial appearance at 1:30 p.m. Friday in federal court in Wichita. The charges include:

-- One count of conspiracy

-- Five counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death

-- Eleven counts of health care fraud

-- Thirteen counts of illegal monetary transactions

-- Four counts of money laundering.

"Dr. Schneider is charged with unlawfully prescribing large quantities of potentially dangerous narcotic medications," said U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren. "At least four of his patients died from accidental overdoses that investigators believe were directly caused by medications he prescribed. In the past 5 years, a total of 56 patients he treated died from accidental prescription drug overdoses."

A 65-page indictment describes Schneider Medical Clinic, 7030 S. Broadway in Haysville, as a "pill mill" open 7 days a week. Schneider and his assistants unlawfully wrote prescriptions for Fentanyl, Methadone, Morphine, Oxycodone and other narcotic medications. Scheduling patients 10 minutes apart, the clinic billed more than $4 million to health benefit programs. Linda Schneider, the manager of the clinic's business operations, often urged the clinic's staff to work faster, the indictment says.

From 2002 to 2007, at least 56 of Schneider's patients died of accidental drug overdoses, the indictment
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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