More charges for Pinnacle doctor

Published 10:20 am Thursday, September 25, 2014

Employee, former physician also charged


Investigators in the case of a doctor accused of operating a pill mill in Ironton say the man was “out to make as much money as possible” at a business that was “masquerading as a health care facility.”

A Lawrence County grand jury this week found there was enough evidence to charge Adam P. Hall and Kevin M. Bowers, Hall’s employee and former physician, with charges of first-degree engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, first-degree conspiracy to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, third-degree tampering with evidence, fifth-degree practicing osteopathy without a certificate and fifth-degree complicity to practicing osteopathy without a certificate.

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Each were indicted separately on identical counts.

In incidents of corrupt activity are outlined in the indictments as drug trafficking, tampering with evidence and forgery.

According to the indictment, Hall and Bowers operated Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center LLC, on South Third Street, as a pill mill from March 2007 to March 2013, where prescriptions were sold for money, with no medical justification and at times patrons would not even see a licensed doctor to obtain their prescriptions.

Hall allegedly would only operate the clinic a few days a month and sometimes would not be present. Patrons still received prescriptions purported to be from Hall, however, according to the indictment.

Prosecuting attorney Brigham Anderson said the indictments were important in the fight against prescription drug abuse.

“He (Hall) was allegedly distributing prescriptions to a lot of people in and around Lawrence County and the more drugs we can get off the street the better off we are,” Anderson said. “The prescription drug problem has to start somewhere with the doctors prescribing it.”

Bowers, a former physician who lost his license in 2008, saw patients at the clinic and authorized prescriptions, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, hundreds of prescriptions for various drugs, including oxycodone, morphine, clonazepam, diazepam, endocet and others were written during the clinic’s operation.

Hall was indicted in August and subsequently pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment of five second- and three third-degree counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, fifth-degree forgery, a fourth- and fifth-degree count of illegal processing of drug documents and a fifth-degree count of permitting drug abuse.

The indictments follow a three-year investigation by the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, the county prosecutor’s and sheriff’s offices, Ironton Police Department, bureau of criminal investigations, state pharmacy board, state medical board, drug enforcement agency and the state attorney general’s office.

The business was shut down in March 2013 after search warrants were issued to seize patient records and other information. Hall’s medical license was subsequently suspended.