A federal grand jury has indicted three Arlington healthcare professionals for drug crimes and fraud, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Clinton Battle, an Arlington physician, and Donna Green, his nurse practitioner, have been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Dr. Battle and his medical assistant, Yajaira Lopez, have also been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. His current practice, “Arlington Occupational & Medical Clinic,” is located on East Abram Street in Arlington.
According to the indictment, Dr. Battle, 67, routinely issued prescriptions for controlled substances – including hydrocodone, codeine, tramadol, Xanax, phentermine, and other controlled substances – allegedly without conducting a proper medical examination of his patients, knowing that the drugs would likely be diverted for illicit distribution. At times, Dr. Battle allegedly issued prescriptions for controlled substances without conducting any medical examination at all, sometimes telling office staff to issue prescriptions for whichever controlled substance the patient wanted.
In return for these phony prescriptions, Dr. Battle allegedly received multiple forms of remuneration – including illicit drugs.
Dr. Battle also allegedly allowed Ms. Green to use his DEA registration number and medical credentials to issue prescriptions for controlled substances, knowing that Ms. Green was not legally authorized to issue such prescriptions.
Meanwhile, Dr. Battle and Ms. Lopez allegedly worked together to submit falsified claims to health insurers, including the Texas Workers’ Compensation system. For example, they allegedly “up-coded” claims for medical procedures, billing for higher reimbursement levels than were authorized based on the medical service provided.
An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, Dr. Battle faces up to 15 years in federal prison. Ms. Green and Ms. Lopez face up to 10 and 5 years, respectively.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS, and the Texas Department of Insurance conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Weybrecht is prosecuting the case.