LONDON – A physician who owned and operated a pain management clinic in Hazard pleaded guilty to money laundering on Oct. 20 in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, Southern Division.
According to the plea agreement, James Dustin “Dusty” Chaney, who owned and operated Clarion Health and Wellness LLC, opened the pain clinic with the legitimate intention of operating a legitimate interventional pain management facility, but he was unable to hire a physician to do the procedures, despite attempts to recruit interventionists to the area.
The plea agreement says that Chaney contacted Dr. Andrew Krasuski, an OB-GYN doctor, who at the time was unemployed and had worked at a local hospital previously with Chaney. Krasuski was hired shortly after, and saw patients at Clarion. Other physicians were hired to fill in for Krasuski when he was out of town.
According to the plea agreement, in or about the summer of 2012, Chaney was advised that one of the physicians who filled in for Krasuski refused to re-issue prescriptions for controlled substances that were issued by Krasuski. The plea agreement says that Chaney would on a few occasions go to Clarion and review some of Krasuki’s medical charts and Chaney began to notice that Krasuki was over prescribing and dispensing what appeared to be high dosage of controlled substances to patients.
The plea agreement says Chaney advised Krasuski to lower the amounts of controlled substances he was prescribing, and on other occasions employees of the clinic and a local pharmacist advised Chaney that Krasuski was potentially over prescribing controlled substances.
After meeting with Krasuski about overprescribing, Chaney did not immediately close Clarion, the plea agreement says. According to the plea agreement, the insurance funds from office visits were deposited into Clarion business accounts and that the funds were used to pay off the loans for the clinic.
The clinic continued until December 2012, when Chaney sold Clarion to Kentucky Pain Physician’s. The plea agreements says that on occasion, Chaney received small amounts of cash derived from some of the proceeds obtained at Clarion. According to the plea agreement, portions of these funds were traceable to Clarion’s illegitimate prescription income.
The plea agreement says that Chaney agrees and acknowledges that his conduct was willfully blind and he also admits that he deliberately closed his eyes to the fact that Krasuski was overprescribing schedule II and schedule III controlled substances.
Chaney could face up to 2o years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved and a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years.
Chaney also agreed to forfeit $40,000 from the sale of Clarion to the U.S.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.