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Published: Saturday, 10/13/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Hall gets 5-year prison term, restitution expected

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

More than three years after his downtown office was searched by federal officials, Darrell A. Hall appeared in federal court where he pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to fraud and the distribution of painkillers.

The former Toledo physician signed a binding plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Toledo in which he pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, health-care fraud, and failure to account for and pay employment tax.

An additional 13 tax counts will be dismissed.

Although a sentencing date has not been set, part of the agreement involves a five-year prison sentence and more than $175,000 in restitution.

“The plea agreement finally reached was the product of a lot of hard work and effort by each side,” said Hall’s attorney, Sam Kaplan.

Mr. Kaplan declined to comment further on the case or on behalf of his client.

Hall, a husband and father of three who acknowledged in court that he was undergoing treatment for cancer, said little during the hearing other than that he understood his rights and that he agreed to the conditions of the plea deal.

Mr. Kaplan pointed out that the 15-page document was the result of a series of investigations and lengthy discussions.

According to court documents, Hall is guilty of crimes related to the dispensation of 1,300 pills of Oxycodone. A former medical doctor, Hall surrendered his ability to prescribe painkillers in 2009 in the midst of the “prescription mill” investigation.

Hall’s practice has been the subject of an investigation for several years. Documents filed in 2009 indicate Toledo police first contacted federal investigators in January, 2007, with information that Hall was a “large prescriber” of addictive medications.

Federal documents filed in August stated that Hall conspired with others to distribute 1,300 pills of 80 milligrams of Oxycodone for “no legitimate medical purpose” between Aug. 25, 2008, and May 14, 2009.

Hall also pleaded guilty to charges that he fraudulently billed Ohio Medicaid $78,113.73 during a two-year period ending in December, 2009, and failed to pay the Internal Revenue Service $97,384.88 in taxes owed on behalf of his business, EDM Health Services LLC, between 2007 and 2010.

Although some of the tax counts are to be dismissed, Hall agreed to pay the entirety of the restitution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Wilson noted at the hearing the restitution amounts are due at the time of sentencing. Judge David Katz did not set a sentencing date, saying it will be scheduled after a presentence investigation report is completed and reviewed.

Hall, who at one time oversaw EDM Health Service, received his Ohio medical license in 1997. He was suspended from practicing medicine April 11, 2001, after admitting to the state medical board that he was chemically dependent on alcohol, OxyContin, and Phenergan.

The board agreed to reinstate his license Aug. 14, 2002, subject to probationary terms, which included drug screening. On Oct. 10, 2007, Hall’s probation was completed, according to Ohio’s license center Web site.

Three years later, Hall’s medical license was “permanently revoked based on doctor’s surrender of controlled substance privileges to the DEA,” according to a formal action report issued by the State Medical Board of Ohio in November, 2010.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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