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Published: Thursday, 12/14/2006

Doctor free on bond in painkiller case

A suburban Detroit physician accused of illegally prescribing painkillers to patients at his Toledo practice was released from federal custody yesterday on a $500,000 property bond.

U.S. District Judge James Carr allowed the release of Dr. Leo M. Ognen during a detention hearing in Toledo.

A former staff physician with St. Anne Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Dr. Ognen was indicted last week on drug conspiracy and drug distribution charges for writing prescriptions for millions of dollars worth of painkillers. The charges stem from a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation and search of the physician's former office on Secor Road and a Toledo home owned by him and his wife, Suzana Ognen.

Agents seized guns, ammunition, knives, medical records, and documents in October, 2004, during a search of the home at 1755 Welker Ave.

Judge Carr approved Dr. Ognen's release after he posted the Welker Avenue residence, his Warren, Mich., home, and an office building he owns at 5715 Dorr St. as a surety bond.

Dr. Ognen, 54, is accused of writing prescriptions for more than two million doses of OxyContin and oxycodone and 1.1 million Percocet tablets to patients who went to the practice on Secor from January, 2002, to October, 2004. The indictment said he wrote the prescriptions for the painkillers for new and established patients without performing examinations, and was given $40 to $50 for each prescription consultation.

Dr. Ognen resigned from the staff at St. Anne shortly after authorities raided his office and the residence on Welker.

At the time of his arrest, he was employed by a firm in Oak Park, Mich., that provides medical services by doctors in patient homes.

Catherine Killam, an attorney representing Dr. Ognen, said in court yesterday that her client's employment with the firm was terminated because of the indictment.

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