Richmond VA March 3 2017 A former Midlothian physician was convicted Wednesday of writing 52 prescriptions over 1½ years for highly addictive opioid drugs in a fraud scheme that involved six accomplices and netted the doctor a cut of the narcotics.
Dr. Kyle Douglas Compton, 40, whose license to practice has been suspended, issued unlawful prescriptions from his former home-based practice in Midlothian to people not under his care between Dec. 1, 2013, and May 31, 2015. All of the prescriptions were for hydrocodone or oxycodone, two highly addictive opioid drugs used for pain relief.
Compton was sentenced in Chesterfield County Circuit Court to a five-year suspended prison term. Recommended state sentencing guidelines calculated for him called for a punishment of probation and no active incarceration. He had no prior criminal record.
Under the scheme, according to authorities, Compton recruited a co-defendant, Ray Derwin, to fill the prescriptions, and in turn, Derwin enlisted co-defendants Kenneth Willoughby and Charles Tuck to assist. Willoughby recruited two more people, Sean Smith and Parker Laipple, and Laipple recruited a sixth man, Kenneth Richmond, authorities said.
All six co-defendants were charged and are awaiting trial. They had all been scheduled to testify Wednesday against Compton.
“It was a whole big chain of (prescription fraud) going on,” said Thomas McKenna, special counsel to the Central Virginia Regional Narcotics Task Force that conducted the investigation with help from the enforcement arm of the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
Compton received one-quarter to one-half of the narcotics from each prescription he wrote, but investigators never determined what he did with the drugs. He apparently didn’t keep the drugs for his personal use, and “the investigation showed that Compton apparently was never paid in cash for the prescriptions.”
“We don’t have any certainty as to what he was doing with the pills,” McKenna said. “We don’t know exactly why he was doing it.”
The 52 prescriptions he wrote netted a total of 4,620 pills.
An investigation began after state police Special Agent Randy Fletcher received a tip from an informant who said a person with whom the informant worked “was trying to persuade him to forge prescriptions,” McKenna said. The prescription would be written for the informant, and in exchange for filling it, he would be allowed to keep half of the pills.
“All this person would have to do is provide his personal information and a fictitious illness to put on the prescription, which would then be issued by a physician identified as Dr. Compton,” McKenna said. “This individual was told that he wouldn’t have to actually visit the doctor.”
The informant initially agreed to participate and had received a fraudulent prescription from Compton. “But he decided to contact police instead of passing it along, because he got scared,” the prosecutor said.
Derwin and Willoughby were the primary “middlemen” who picked up the prescriptions from Compton, McKenna said. The prescriptions were then passed to the people for whom they were written, and those individuals would have the prescription filled at various local pharmacies. Everybody received a cut of the pills, the prosecutor said.
“All the participants were given a cover story,” McKenna said. “They were supposed to tell police, if questioned, that they had been seeing Dr. Compton and paying him $50 for an office visit.”
But the Virginia Board of Medicine determined that Compton “had no hard record indicating that any of these individuals were his patients,” McKenna said.
The pharmacies where the prescriptions were filled had “no way of knowing that these were improperly issued prescriptions,” McKenna added.
Instead of proceeding to trial, Compton entered an Alford plea to one count of conspiring to violate the Drug Control Act by engaging in prescription fraud. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction.
The Virginia Board of Medicine suspended Compton’s license to practice on Oct. 30, 2015. He formerly was a physician with Commonwealth Hospitalist Services in Glen Allen and lived in the 13500 block of Springford Parkway in Midlothian. He has since moved to Kentucky.