Almost four years after charges were laid against a Mount Carmel doctor, Dr Raymond Kraynak pleaded guilty Thursday to 12 counts of distributing or dispensing prescription drugs illegally.
Kraynak, 64, pleaded after 13 days of testimony in Williamsport federal court before US judge Matthew Brann, according to a press release from the US Department of Justice.
Kraynak operated two offices, one in Mt. Carmel and the other in Shamokin, both known as Keystone Family Medicine Associates, and prescribed approximately 9.5 million units of oxycodone, hydrocodone, of oxycontin and fentanyl to patients between January 2014 and July 31, 2017, according to the release.
He could be sentenced to 15 years in prison on each of the twelve counts if his plea is accepted. The sentences would be carried out simultaneously. Kraynak also faces a fine of $ 1 million and a maximum supervised release sentence of up to life.
Kraynak was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 20, 2017, in an indictment of 19 counts of illegal distribution and distribution of controlled substances, causing the deaths of five patients through the illegal distribution and distribution of controlled substances, and the maintenance of two drugs. premises concerned, one at Mt. Carmel and the other at Shamokin. Kraynak stopped seeing patients and surrendered his license in December 2017 when he was arraigned in federal court over the indictment.
Prosecution evidence included testimony from DEA analysts that Kraynak was the primary opioid prescriber in Pennsylvania in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and during those years he prescribed more opioids than the Veterans Medical Center. of Pittsburgh and the Veterans Hospital of Philadelphia.
Prosecution evidence at trial also included testimony from a medical expert that Kraynak continued to prescribe high doses of opioids despite knowing that patients had previously been treated for drug overdoses, respiratory problems and illness. other medical conditions increasing the risk of overdose and death, according to the Liberation.
Prosecution evidence also established that Kraynak, by prescribing these opioids to several patients outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, and did so without performing a proper medical examination, checking for inadequately reporting the patient’s medical complaint and failing to assess the risk of abuse by individual patients.
“Dr Kraynak recklessly transported nearly three million units of opioids to Shamokin neighborhoods, continuing to fuel an epidemic that kills 14 Pennsylvanians every day,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “We are working closely with our federal partners to combat this crisis which continues to destroy families and communities in Pennsylvania.”
Kraynak remains free on $ 500,000 bond until the date of conviction.