School of Medicine and Wharton alumnus Louis Hampers, charged in a 655-count federal prescription fraud case, faces his first hearing in Richmond, Va., Friday afternoon.
Hampers, a University of Colorado School of Medicine professor of pediatrics and ex-Children’s Hospital Denver doctor, filled out prescriptions with five different aliases and then picked them tup himself, according to United States Attorney’s office spokesman Jeff Dorschner. Court documents list out each of 654 alleged instances, which occurred at pharmacies all over the Denver metropolitan area.
According to the indictment — dated Aug. 26, but not released until Hampers’ arrest in Virginia on Tuesday — Hampers wrote most of the 654 prescriptions for three different drugs: Hydrocodone, a painkiller; Zolpidem, a sleeping pill; and Diazepam, an anxiety medication. He also wrote one prescription for Methylphenidate, a generic version of Ritalin. The indictment says Hampers made the prescriptions between 2007 and April 2010.
Hampers’ attorney, Harvey Steinberg, did not return requests for comment. According to his secretary, he was out of the office for the Jewish holiday.
Today’s hearing will determine whether Hampers is eligible for bond. If so, he will travel to Denver on his own to appear at future hearings in federal court. If not, he will be transported there by federal marshals, according to Dorschner.
The date of the Denver hearing has yet to be set.
In addition to the 654 counts related to prescription fraud, Hampers is named in a separate Denver arrest warrant for harassment and witness intimidation, according to Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson.
Though Jackson declined to elaborate, citing witness privacy concerns, the Denver Post reported Thursday that the arrest warrant was connected to a case in which Hampers is accused of harassing a television reporter.
Dorschner said the logistics of Hampers’ case are unclear, now that the warrant has been issued.
“At this point, I’m not sure how it’s going to be handled,” he said. “The federal and state prosecutors coordinate to determine the best timing to address the two separate venues.”
According to a statement from Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer Joan Bothner, Hampers “has not provided care in our emergency department since March 2010, and no longer has active medical staff privileges at Children’s.” The statement also says the hospital is conducting an internal review, and has not found evidence that care was compromised or that drugs were taken during Hampers’ time there.
According to Hampers’ profile on the University of Colorado School of Medicine website, he earned both his medical degree and MBA at Penn in 1992.Comments powered by Disqus
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