Wise Co. doctor, wife convicted on prescription fraud charges

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WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL)- Authorities said a Wise County, Virginia doctor and his wife have been convicted of several charges including prescription fraud and distribution of Schedule II Controlled Substances.

Michael B. Ford, 75, and his wife, Una Faye Ford, 69, entered an Alford Plea July 19th to the charges.

An Alford Plea is not a guilty plea. Instead, the defendant admits there is enough evidence to prove he or she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Fords operated Appalachian Medical Clinic in the town of Appalachia.

Authorities said the clinic became the “target of a lengthy investigation” and that search warrants were executed in March 2018.

In a news release Friday, authorities said in part, “Prescriptions for powerful opioid drugs were distributed without the doctor being present or without the patients ever seeing a physician. On at least one occasion, Dr. Ford and Mrs. Ford were on vacation in California, but instead of shutting down the clinic for their trip, the couple willfully caused clinic employees to make false statements or representations of a material fact to receive payments from Medicaid.”

While Dr. Ford is scheduled to be sentenced in December, his wife is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

The couple could each receive 215 years in prison if the judge imposes the maximum penalty available for these crimes.

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