PITTSBURGH - A prescribing physician with SKS, Inc. has been sentenced in federal court to two years’ probation and fined $5,500 on her conviction of unlawfully prescribing buprenorphine and health care fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Ruth Jones, 58, of Bedford, Pennsylvania.
According to information presented to the court, Jones was employed at SKS, Inc., a buprenorphine clinic located in Johnstown, Pa. During the course her employment, Jones prescribed buprenorphine outside the course of accepted medical practice and not for a legitimate medical reason. The healthcare fraud occurred when a patient’s insurance provided paid for the prescription. Under federal law, medical insurance cannot be used to pay for an unlawfully issued prescription.
Under the terms of her plea agreement, Jones agreed to forfeit $10,000.
Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Cessar and Michael Ivory prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit (OFADU). The Western Pennsylvania OFADU, led by federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, combines the expertise and resources of federal and state law enforcement to address the role played by unethical medical professionals in the opioid epidemic.
The agencies which comprise the Western Pennsylvania OFADU include: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Bureau of Narcotic Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Office of Personnel Management – Office of Inspector General and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania