San Joaquin County doctor convicted of illegally prescribing opioids to patients | USAO-EDCA


SACRAMENTO, Calif .– Doctor Edmund Kemprud, 78, of Dublin, was found guilty today of 14 counts of illegally prescribing opioids and other controlled substances to patients, the U.S. prosecutor said by interim Phillip A. Talbert.

According to evidence presented at trial, Kemprud was a licensed physician in California and worked in several locations around the East Bay and Central Valley, including a location in the back room of a nail salon. and a medical spa in Tracy.

Kemprud has prescribed highly addictive and commonly used prescription drugs, including hydrocodone, alprazolam, and oxycodone – outside the ordinary course of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purposes. Controlled substances affect the central nervous system and can only be prescribed when medically necessary.

Evidence presented at the trial showed that Kemprud ignored indications that his patients were drug addicts or that they were diverting drugs. Instead, he wrote more prescriptions for highly addictive and dangerous controlled substances, charging $ 79 per visit. He was filling prescriptions so quickly that he often spent less than five minutes with a patient and saw 30 patients in less than a day.

Evidence at trial showed Kemprud knew he was practicing outside of the regular course of professional practice and intended to continue writing prescriptions so patients kept coming back. Several pharmacies were so confused by Kemprud’s prescriptions that they instituted company-wide policies to block his prescriptions.

Evidence from undercover officers at trial established that on 14 occasions between September 6, 2018 and March 13, 2019, Kemprud prescribed opioids without determining patients’ medical and prescription history, without conducting an appropriate medical examination, without confirming the legitimacy of the patients. ‘complaints, and without assessing the risk of aberrant drug behavior.

“This defendant has shown a blatant disregard for patient safety and the law,” Interim US Attorney Talbert said. “Even though he knew his patients’ treatment was illegal, he continued to inject dangerous drugs into the community. It took the efforts of officers, investigators, undercover agents, medical professionals who practiced with the accused, and pharmacists to stop Kemprud’s illicit prescription writing. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who fuel the opioid epidemic for their own benefit. “

“For almost two years we all faced the impacts of the global pandemic, but before the pandemic began, we were already battling a deadly opioid epidemic,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “We trust our doctors by putting our health in their hands. When doctors break their do-no-harm oath, we need to take action, especially when it comes to illegally prescribing opioids. I am grateful to our investigative partners at the federal level and to the United States Attorney General for successfully ending the nefarious practices of this physician.

“Fueled by greed, Edmund Kemprud went from doctor to drug dealer when he started running a prescription pill mill for potent opioids. Kemprud’s actions not only attacked those struggling with addiction, but also contributed to the current opioid crisis. This verdict underscores our commitment to hold unscrupulous doctors accountable for their actions, ”said DEA Special Agent Wade R. Shannon. “I applaud the efforts of the DEA Oakland Tactical Diversion Squad, the California Department of Justice, the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse Drug Diversion Team, the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services. social, and the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California, which worked diligently on this investigation. “

“Patient safety can be seriously threatened when healthcare professionals let their personal interests dictate their prescribing decisions,” said Steven J. Ryan, special agent in charge of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and of Social Services (HHS-OIG). . “While neglecting his responsibility to provide appropriate health services, Kemprud has stolen funds intended to promote positive health outcomes in our communities. The HHS-OIG and our partners are committed to bringing to justice those who harm beneficiaries or deceive the programs that deliver their health care.

This case is the product of an investigation by the California Department of Justice, the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse Drug Diversion Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Social Services. Assistant to US Attorney Veronica MA Alegría and Special Assistant to US Attorney Robert J. Artuz are continuing the case.

Kemprud is expected to be sentenced on February 14, 2022 by US District Judge William B. Shubb. Kemprud faces a maximum legal sentence of 20 years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after considering all applicable statutory factors and federal sentencing guidelines, which take a number of variables into account.

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