Richmond VA Feb 28 2017 A Richmond-area physician is facing federal charges in connection with an alleged oxycodone “pill mill” operation.
Clarence Scranage Jr., 61, who is said to have practiced in offices in Richmond and in Chesterfield and Henrico counties, was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with the intent to distribute them and 18 counts of distribution of controlled substances.
Records show Scranage was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2006 for obstruction of justice and for making a false statement in connection with his dealings with a friend, former state Del. Fenton L. Bland Jr., who was convicted of bank-fraud conspiracy in 2005.
The Virginia Board of Medicine suspended Scranage’s medical license in 2006. According to state records, his license was reinstated in 2008.
In 2013, he was reprimanded in a consent order by the Board of Medicine related to his prescription of a drug for weight loss to patients and improper record-keeping.
Scranage was arrested Friday and the Feb. 21 indictment against him was unsealed. Also charged was Anthony Harper, 45, of Dewitt.
Both men are being held in area jails and have detention hearings before U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Novak followed by arraignment before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson on Wednesday.
The alleged conspiracy occurred from July 2011 until February 2015.
The nine-page indictment alleges that Harper recruited people, whose names were given to Scranage, who wrote prescriptions for them. Harper and others paid Scranage for the prescriptions.
Scranage was a self-described pain-management specialist for the past five years, according to the indictment.
Harper had the recruits fill the prescriptions for the 30 mg oxycodone pills at licensed pharmacies. The “patients” who allowed their names to be used were paid by Harper, who then sold the pills to “sub-dealers or users.”
Oxycodone is an addictive opioid and controlled substance with a high potential for abuse. Physicians must prescribe it only for legitimate medical purposes.
The indictment accuses Scranage of repeatedly failing to individually assess the medical needs of the people for whom he wrote prescriptions.
“As a result, defendant Scranage’s office served as a ‘pill mill,’ where known and unknown co-conspirators, including defendant Harper, obtained multiple prescriptions for oxycodone,” the indictment alleges.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of at least $650,000 traceable to the illegal dispensing of controlled substances.
The indictment said Scranage attended the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, in Nashville, Tenn., and was board certified in emergency medicine in 1991.
The offices where he has practiced are listed as in the 700 block of North Courthouse Road in Chesterfield; the 1600 block of Ownby Lane in Richmond; and the 2000 block of Bremo Road in Henrico.
Board of Medicine records list his license as current and say he practiced 80 percent of the time at the Bremo Road office and 20 percent at the office on Ownby Lane.