(STL.News) – United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced today that on December 17, 2019, Steven Kotsonis, a medical doctor, 38, of Menomonee Falls, pleaded guilty in federal district court to one count of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone outside of a professional medical practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Susan Moyer, 57, of Milwaukee, who is not a licensed medical provider and was the clinic’s office manager, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances, including Oxycodone, and one count of distribution of Oxycodone.
Pursuant to his guilty plea, Kotsonis admitted that in 2012, he relocated his practice from the Beaver Medical Clinic and changed the name to the Compassionate Care Clinic. Moyer was the officer manager at the Compassionate Care Clinic, and also was the co-owner of the clinic. Moyer is not a licensed health care provider and there were no other licensed physicians, nurses, or other health care providers working at the Compassionate Care Clinic aside from Kotsonis.
The investigation of the Compassionate Care Clinic revealed that only cash was accepted and individuals paid $200 to $350 in cash to obtain a prescription. Prescriptions were written for large quantities of Oxycodone, particularly Oxycodone 30mg (an average of 150-180 tablets per month). Moyer typically filled out the prescriptions and had Kotsonis sign the prescriptions without Kotsonis actually seeing the individual patient. Individuals frequently obtained prescriptions at the Compassionate Care Clinic without being examined or having their vitals (height, weight, blood pressure) taken during their visit. During an office visit to the Compassionate Care Clinic during the course of the investigation, Moyer was recorded referring to herself as the “Oxy Czar.”
Kotsonis and Moyer are scheduled to be sentenced in March. Each faces a maximum penalty of twenty years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000, at least three years of supervised release, up to a maximum of a lifetime term of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100.
“This case underscores the Justice Department’s commitment to combatting the opioid crisis,” said United States Attorney Krueger. “Far too many Wisconsinites have seen loved ones suffer from an opioid addiction or, worse, an overdose. Because the path to addiction often begins with prescription opioids, we are committed to investigating and prosecuting prescribers like Kotsonis who deal drugs behind the façade of medical practice.”
DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul Maxwell commented, “The Drug Enforcement Administration is committed to identifying and investigating those medical “professionals” who use their positions of trust to become drug dealers for personal profit. This investigation is an example of our resolve to hold those individuals accountable for their actions.”
This case was investigated by the DEA. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Jacobs and Laura S. Kwaterski.
Information and resources concerning the opioid crisis and the DEA’s “360 Strategy” for addressing the crisis may be found at the DEA’s website, www.dea.gov.