MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — A local doctor and a clinic director have been arrested in a prescription drug fraud conspiracy.
According to court documents, an investigation began on May 18, 2020, when Louisiana State Police received a complaint from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) accusing Dr. David Burkett and others of criminal activity regarding pharmaceutical diversion and Medicaid fraud.
One of the allegations claims Dr. Burkett was prescribing a large number of Percocet pills to Gary Stamper, who owns the Premier Family Walk-In Clinic in West Monroe. The complaint also accuses the two of splitting the pills once Stamper filled the prescription.
A Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) profile obtained by investigators showed that Stamper had filled 22 prescriptions written by Dr. Burkett between May 15, 2019, and April 30, 2020. Of those 22 prescriptions, 18 were for Percocet 10/325, two were for Dilaudid 2 mg, one was for Dilaudid 4 mg, and one for Soma (a muscle relaxer).
Also listed in the PMP profile were prescriptions for several patients that seemed suspicious to investigators. Dr. Burkett, a cardiologist, was prescribing opiates to several patients for what investigators consider a “long term basis.” Of those patients, the investigators compiled a list of ten who had received the most Percocet.
Of those ten, the one with the fewest prescriptions received 240 dosage units of Percocet between August 13, 2019, and October 27, 2019. Stamper, who was prescribed the most, received 1,512 dosage units of Percocet.
On May 20, 2020, the original complainant was interviewed by investigators. During the interview, the complainant detailed a text conversation. In the conversation between the complainant and Stamper, Stamper said he was in the emergency room at Ochsner LSU Health, so that he could get a prescription for Percocet from Dr. Burkett. The complainant says they waited nearly three hours outside of the hospital for Stamper.
Based on all of this information, investigators were able to obtain warrants to search prescription records and security footage along with conducting several interviews.
An employee of Stamper’s, Kayla Parks, a nurse practitioner at Premier Family Walk-In Clinic, told investigators during an interview that she had seen some suspicious activity, by Stamper, and he was dangerously mixing the medications he received from Dr. Burkett. She says she was alerted to these issues when looking at Stamper’s PMP profile; after he asked her to provide him with medication for a severe migraine.
Parks also told investigators she was concerned about Stamper wanting the clinic to have controlled-dangerous substances on-site. She says Stamper has paperwork giving him power of attorney over her DEA license, so he could make orders from a supplier. Once Parks learned this, she told Stamper she was not going to agree to it. Stamper allegedly did not press the issue any further.
The arrest warrant details times that Parks was responsible for refilling an Aderall prescription ten days early and she also wrote a prescription for 12 Oxycodone for four days. Parks says it was a tele-med appointment and the patient claims to have fallen and hurt their back. Parks says this particular patient returned looking for Alzprazolam and she refused to write a prescription for that medication because the patient had just filled a Percoset prescription.
Investigators spoke with Joni Kicklighter, she claims to have a relationship with Stamper–both professional and personal, and during their conversation they learned Kicklighter called a Walgreen’s pharmacy to change the dosage units for Xanax she called in for Parks with another doctor’s name and DEA number.
During an interview with Kicklighter and Parks, they admitted to writing some of the prescriptions for controlled substances without getting prior approval from their supervising doctor. She admitted to investigators her supervising doctor asked her not to call in any more prescriptions without talking to him first.
One patient of Dr. Burkett’s, Janet Aymond, was able to confirm accusations from the original complainant. Aymond told police in her interview that there were times that medication was prescribed to her, but she did not ask for it. Investigators say they checked her signature against those on file at Aaron’s Pharmacy and they did not match. Aymond told investigators she knew Stamper was giving some of the Percoset prescribed by Dr. Burkett back to him. She also said four other “patients” were doing the same thing.
Investigators say another patient and former North Monroe Hospital nurse, Tammy Wink, came forward and talked about her experiences with Burkett. Wink left her job at the hospital because she developed an addiction to Ambien. She told investigators she has known him since he was her mother’s heart doctor. Wink started working at Premiere Walk-in Clinic and quickly began seeing Dr. Burkett as a patient.
Wink admitted to investigators she would go to Oshners when Burkett was working to get shots of Dilaudid for back pain and when Burkett would walk into the exam room he would not actually examine her, but he would talk about his issues and then suggest he be given the Percoset he prescribed for her. Wink says she had to created a diversion for the nurse when they brought her the drugs so she could pass them to Burkett. Wink told investigators the next time she went for a shot of Dilaudid the nurse told her Burkett wanted to personally administer the Percoset. She says she left the emergency room feeling uncomfortable about Burkett asking her for pills.
Investigators say after several interviews reviewing the PMP’s, patient records, video footage from Ochner’s, and records from pharmacies, they have concluded Gary Micheal Stamper committed forty-one counts of violating Louisiana Revised Statute 40:97 B.(1)(b) Obtaining C.D.S. by Fraud and seven counts of violating Louisiana Revised Statute 40:979 Conspiracy to Obtain C.D.S. between February 1, 2019 and May 18, 2020.
As for Dr. David Scott Burkett, investigators say they have committed one-hundred six counts of L.R.S. 40:967 A.(1) Illegal Distribution of Schedule II, fourteen counts of L.R.S. 40:969 A.(1) Illegal distribution of Schedule IV, four counts of L.R.S. 40:967 C. Illegal Possession of a Schedule II C.DS., seven counts of L.R.S. 40:979 Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule II, and two counts of L.R.S. 40:979 Attempted Possession of C.D.S. II.
We will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they are made available to us.
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