BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) – A federal jury has convicted a Tennessee doctor and his wife on several charges including unlawfully distributing opioids and defrauding insurers from their now-closed North Alabama clinics.
Mark Murphy, 65, and his wife, Jennifer, 65, both from Lewisburg, Tenn., owned and operated North Alabama Pain Services (NAPS). The couple closed both the Decatur and Madison offices in early 2017. According to court documents, over a five-year period before the clinics closed Murphy and his wife, who worked as NAPS office manager, charged over $50 million in fraudulent or unnecessary medical services to Medicare, TRICARE, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and other insurance companies.
Prim Escalona, a U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, said evidence presented at trial showed NAPS gave pre-signed prescriptions to thousands of patients a month including prescriptions written without a legitimate medical purpose.
Evidence also showed both Murphys solicited and received unlawful payments for referring fraudulent or unnecessary services to patients, according to Escalona.
Court documents show both were convicted of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, plus various other counts related to the same. Both were also convicted of conspiring to defraud the United States and receiving kickbacks.
Both Murphys face a maximum of 20 years in prison for the drug charges, a maximum of 10 years for the health care fraud charges and a maximum of five years for charges connected to violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
Jennifer Murphy was also convicted of tax-related charges for underreporting clinic income and could face up to three years in prison for those charges.
After Mark Murphy closed the Alabama clinics he continued to work from his Tennessee practice in Lewisburg which was raided by FBI agents in 2018 and was indicted in 2020 along with his wife and four other people.
Both are scheduled to be sentenced on June 30.