LONDON — A verdict has been reached in the trial of James “Ace” Chaney and his wife Lesa. On Monday, the jury found the Chaneys guilty on more than 180 counts in federal court. Among the most serious charges facing the defendants were drug conspiracy, pre-signing scripts, money laundering and altering drug screens. The charges were brought forth surrounding activities that occurred at the Ace Clinique of Medicine in Hazard, which was owned and operated by the Chaneys.
In September of 2013, state and federal agents raided Ace Clinique of Medicine in the midst of an investigation into suspicions of illegal drug prescribing practices. Investigators alleged that Dr. Ace Chaney signed blank prescription notes and allowed employees at the clinic to fill out whatever medications the patients might have needed or requested. By signing these notes as a licensed doctor, the door was then opened for non-licensed personnel to write prescriptions for patients. Investigators also claimed that drug screens at the clinic were altered and some of the fraudulent prescriptions written were turned in to Medicare or Medicaid.
The investigation led to indictments and a trial at federal court in London. During the trial, testimonies were given by former Ace Clinique of Medicine employees. The testimonies indicated that drug screens had been altered and pre-signed prescription notes handed out under the instruction of Ace Chaney.
The total number of counts that were originally facing the Chaneys in the indictment equaled 269. Following the indictment, state authorities issued an emergency order suspending Chaney’s medical license. Federal investigators alleged that the amount of money fraudulently taken in by the clinic was nearly $23 million.
The Chaneys have denied wrong doing. The Ace Clinique of Medicine had a large patient base, who visited Dr. Ace Chaney for a vast number of medical reasons. Sentencing in the trial has not yet been handed down by the judge.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.