Home Pittsburgh Press Releases 2012 McMurray Doctor Sentenced for Over-Prescribing Painkillers and Health Care Fraud

McMurray Doctor Sentenced for Over-Prescribing Painkillers and Health Care Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 24, 2012
  • Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH—A physician from McMurray, Pennsylvania has been sentenced in federal court to 135 months’ imprisonment (11 years and three months), to be followed by three years of supervised release, on his convictions for violating the federal narcotics laws and health care fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Oliver W. Herndon, age 40, of McMurray.

“We continue to make addressing the problem of prescription drug abuse one of our highest priorities by targeting the illegal supply chain at every level, from legitimate medical providers to illegal traffickers,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton. “Western Pennsylvania law enforcement is committed to identifying, investigating, and vigorously prosecuting these criminals who prey upon the addicted and threaten the safety of our communities.”

According to information presented to the court, Dr. Herndon prescribed oxycodone and Opana, powerful Schedule II painkillers, to patients outside of the legitimate course of medical practice. Fraud occurred when the cost of the office visits and the narcotics were billed to insurance companies. The parties stipulated to restitution in the amount of $700,000, which will be split between UPMC for You and Gateway Health Insurance (now owned by Highmark).

Dr. Herndon’s medical office in Peters Township was searched by federal agents on February 14, 2012. Dr. Herndon had relocated his office from 500 Lewis Run Road in Pleasant Hills to 1000 Waterdam Plaza only two weeks prior to the search.

Assistant United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the West Mifflin, Pleasant Hills, and Peters Township Police Departments, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Herndon.

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