2 Tioga County physicians sentenced to federal prison

Two Wellsboro phyisicans were sentenced to federal prison this week for writing fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone.

Doctors John Terry, 65, and Thomas Ray, 53, were sentenced U.S. Middle District Court by Judge Christopher C. Conner in Williamsport.

Terry was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay $4,762 in restitution to the state Department of Human Services for fraudulent prescriptions he wrote.

Ray was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The sentence will run consecutively to 30 months of a Tioga County term consisting of 51 months to 15 years. Ray is serving the state sentence on unrelated charges.

Terry allegedly caused Medicare to be billed for fraudulent prescriptions in April 2013 for David Hatch, 28, of Addison, New York, but written in the name of Stephen Heffner Jr., 46, of Elkland, according to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith.

Terry knew Heffner was not his patient and that the oxycodone was intended for Hatch, Smith said.

Medicare paid for the prescription received by Heffner but actually delivered to Hatch.

Terry also wrote prescriptions for oxycodone and other narcotics for Ray, in reckless disregard of the fact that the drugs were not being used by Ray for legitimate medical purposes but being diverted and sold on the street.

Medicaid paid for the medically unnecessary prescriptions written for Ray, Smith said.

Heffner and Hatch previously were sentenced to six months probation for theft from the Medicare program.

The investigation was initiated in June 2013 by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration drug diversion agents and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. During the execution of a federal search warrant at his office on July 8, 2013, Terry voluntarily agreed to surrender his medical license and his DEA registration.