PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A doctor at a Johnstown, Pa., opioid treatment facility pleaded guilty Monday to charges of distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud.
Fifty-seven-year-old Ruth D. Jones, of Bedford, Pa., was a prescribing physician with SKS Associates.
The Department of Justice says Jones illegally distributed prescriptions for buprenorphine, which, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is used to treat opioid dependency.
Investigators found more than 2,000 blank, pre-signed prescriptions with Jones’ or Dr. Michael Cash’s signatures.
Jones also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy with Cash to create and distribute illegal prescriptions for buprenorphine and health care fraud for allegedly submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed buprenorphine.
Jones could face up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000 or both.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 20.