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Trial underway for former Marietta physician

The trial for former Marietta physician Roger Dale Anderson got underway Monday morning in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division in Columbus.

A representative for Chief Judge Algenon L. Marbley said they were still working on finalizing the jury late Monday afternoon.

“Usually it just takes the morning, but this is taking a little longer,” she said. “They hope to start opening statements soon.”

She said the trial should take approximately two weeks.

Anderson, whose last known address was 4450 Barnett Ridge Road, Fleming, faces possible prison time if convicted of the 14 federal charges. In the federal indictment, prosecutors allege that Anderson would pre-sign prescriptions in Marietta for staff to complete and distribute to patients in his absence.

“It is further a part of the conspiracy that at the direction of Anderson, the pre-signed prescriptions were distributed to patients by staff, who were not legally qualified to issue, distribute or dispense prescriptions for Schedule II and III controlled substances,” notes the indictment. Anderson owned and operated Marietta Medical, located at 101 and 121 Putnam St. The indictment states the prescriptions would be distributed at a kiosk in Putnam Commons, 121 Putnam St.

Along with the one count of conspiracy to dispense and distribute controlled substances, he was indicted on nine counts of illegal dispensing of Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone and hydrocodone; one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud; and three counts of health care fraud.

According to the eLicense Ohio Professional Licensure database, he holds a current medical license, which is set to expire in July 2021.

The health care fraud charges stem from the allegation that between Jan. 1, 2012 and March 29, 2016, Anderson and unnamed co-conspirators allegedly submitted claims to health care benefit programs for Schedule II controlled substances that were dispensed and distributed by pharmacies as a result of the alleged pre-signed prescriptions.

The charges also allege that Anderson submitted claims for office visits that did not occur and in billing, “falsely represent(ed) the level of exam and medical decision making used during the office visit, in order to receive inflated reimbursement from the health care benefit programs.”

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Monday afternoon that the trial was a long time coming.

“I think we are well-prepared and interested in presenting the information we have to the jury to let them decide,” he said. “I have Sgt. (Eric) Augenstein up there for the duration.”

Mincks said Augenstein will help the assistant U.S. attorney and the prosecution.

“He was the case agent with the Major Crimes Task Force that did a lot of the investigation down here,” he added, noting it was a joint operation with the Marietta Police Department and the DEA.

The trial will continue today.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

• Trial began Monday for former Marietta physician Roger Dale Anderson.

• Anderson, 62, was indicted on 14 federal charges in March 2019, including one count of conspiracy to dispense and distribute controlled substances.

• Federal prosecutors alleged he would pre-sign prescriptions for staff to complete and distribute to patients in his absence.

• His downtown Marietta offices were raided by the DEA in February 2016.

• The trial is expected to last two weeks, with opening statements to start immediately after the jury is finalized.

• He holds a current medical license, which will expire in July 2021.

Source: Times research.

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