MANSFIELD — A local psychiatrist could receive 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine if convicted of prescription fraud.
David Walter Massie, 59, was indicted last week on a single count of conspiracy to distribute Oxycontin or oxycodone.
According to the indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland, Massie is accused of writing fraudulent prescriptions outside the course of traditional doctor-patient relationships to at least four people, who filled them and illegally distributed them back to Massie for his own personal use, distribution and sale to others.
“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in the state,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Tobin said. “It’s greatly problematic when you’ve got a doctor engaged in it. This is an important case for those reasons.”
Four people reportedly involved in the case were patients of Massie, the indictment said. In addition to being patients, two of them also worked for Massie. None of them have been charged. Tobin declined to say if they would be charged in the future. They were identified in the indictment by their initials.
Authorities say the crimes began as early as January 2005 and continued through July 3, 2007, and involved more than 4,000 pills. Massie is suspected of selling Oxycontin or oxycodone for about $1 per milligram.
Oxycodone is one of the strongest prescription painkilling substances approved for use in the United States and is very addictive.
According to the indictment, Massie obtained Oxycontin or oxycodone through other means in May of this year and sold it. Tobin said he could not say how the investigation started.
Massie was arrested Thursday with help from the Richland County division of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, METRICH Detective Dawn Brown said. Brown said Massie’s license was suspended several years ago. According to the Ohio State Medical Board website, his license expired in July 2008.