St. Louis, MO (STL.News) – Bradley A. Seyer, D.D.S., 53, of Florissant, Missouri, pled guilty today to two felony charges for making false statements to Medicare and illegally distributing narcotic opioid drugs, specifically hydrocodone, without a legitimate medical purpose. Seyer appeared before U.S. District Judge Ronnie White who accepted his plea and set his sentencing for September 25, 2019.
According to the plea agreement, Dr. Seyer provided a hydrocodone prescription to a woman identified by her initials E.A. in the plea agreement. Dr. Seyer has a personal relationship with E.A. that lasted over ten years. Dr. Seyer gave E.A. money and jewelry, and took her on vacation trips. During their relationship, defendant prescribed E.A. with over 14,000 units of Alprazolam (sometimes marketed and sold as Xanax®), Diazepam (sometimes marketed as Vaium®), Carisoprodol (sometimes marketed and sold as Soma®), Hydrocodone, and Tramadol (sometimes marketed and sold as Ultram®). Dr. Seyer prepared and kept some dental treatment records for E.A., but they are incomplete. Dr. Seyer’s records fail to contain all of the prescriptions that he prescribed for E.A. Further, the records do not document office visits and examinations by Dr. Seyer of E.A. before he issued some of the prescriptions.
In his plea agreement, Dr. Seyer admitted that he and E.A. together consumed some “street” and prescription drugs for recreational purposes. E.A. often requested prescription drugs by text, leading Dr. Seyer to call in the prescriptions at her request. E.A. was depressed and had suicidal ideation, and had a history of mental illness. On several occasions during summer 2018, Dr. Seyer and E.A. discussed her desire to commit suicide. Ultimately, E.A. died at her home during July of 2018 of a fentanyl overdose. Dr. Seyer did not prescribe fentanyl to E.A.
Further, in the plea agreement, Dr. Seyer admitted that he prescribed Tramadol® to E.A.’s father, identified by his initials in the plea agreement as G.A. G.A. has Medicare coverage. Dr. Seyer had no records showing any dental treatment for G.A. However, Dr. Seyer issued five prescriptions to E.A. using G.A.’s name, and Medicare paid for these five prescriptions, including a Tramadol® prescription dated December 2, 2015.
“The diversion of licit opioids for illicit purposes is illegal no matter the circumstances and when carried out by a member of the medical community is nothing but irresponsible and dangerous. Medical professionals are trained to responsibly dispense opioids, and those who don’t violate every aspect of the oath to protect human life,” said Special Agent in Charge William Callahan of the DEA’s St. Louis Division. “This behavior is unlawful, which is why the DEA will continue our fight to expose violators, including those who operate behind the shield of a medical license.”
Steve Hanson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Kansas City Region, stated, “Our office will continue to vigorously pursue healthcare providers who submit improper claims for reimbursement to publicly funded healthcare programs and, more specifically abuse their position by irresponsibly prescribing narcotics that endanger the well-being of their patients.”
The charges of false statements to Medicare carry a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The drug distribution charge has a maximum penalty of either 10 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges. Sentencing has been set for September 25, 2019.