Oklahoma doctor gets 5 months in prison in opioid fraud case

TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma doctor accused of writing fake opioid prescriptions so his patients could return the pills for his personal use has been sentenced to five months in federal prison.

Dr. Jeremy David Thomas, 43, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in November to multiple conspiracies to write fraudulent prescriptions for hydrocodone.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Claremore wrote fraudulent hydrocodone prescriptions for his patients, who delivered some or all of the tablets to him.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office told KJRH Thomas and co-conspirators diverted more than 13,740 doses of hydrocodone between 2015 and 2017, mainly for Thomas’s illegal personal use, including during surgeries.

“Dr. Thomas was a drug dealer like any other whose business it was to peddle opioids and addiction in our community. But unlike a typical drug dealer, he also performed surgeries on patients. Moreover, he was under the influence during those surgeries,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores told KJRH. “Opioid addiction destroys lives. Not only of the addict, but of those around them. This case showcases the destructive power of opioids.”

Thomas’ attorney, Robert Lee Wyatt IV, called the case “a very sad set of circumstances.”

Oklahoma’s Osteopathic Board of Examiners suspended Thomas in January 2018.

Thomas also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and given three years of supervised release.

According to KJRH, others implicated in the drug conspiracies were Jeffrey Lee Koger, 48, of Claremore; Joseph Marcus Jones, 36, of Claremore; Toni Dawn Martin, 49, of Owasso; Shawn Del Martin, 50, of Owasso; and Chad Lee Choat, 46, of Claremore.

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