According to a Minute Entry and Notation Order by Judge Timothy M. Black, former Wheelersburg pain clinic operator Margaret “Margy” Temponeras is scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati April 3, 2017. The document also says her father, John Temponeras and pharmacist Raymond Fankell are scheduled to go on trial at the same time, and the Order does not specify the charges.
However, in the notation made by court reporter Luke Lavin on Sept. 22, 2016 was a notation that defendant John Temponeras has been engaged in plea negotiations with the government and that an agreement is likely to be finalized within the next 60 days. That could alter the list of defendants in that trial.
In the Notation Order, Lavin says a status conference was conducted by phone that involved U.S. Attorney Tim Oakley, representing the government, Bradley Barbin and Rachael Price, representing Margaret Temponeras, Terry Sherman for John Temponeras and Rick Faulkner and Ken Porter for Fankell.
The Order read, in part – “The Government stated that it has provided all outstanding discovery related to expert witnesses, but for two minor items (i.e., CVs ‘Curriculum Vitae’ for two expert witnesses). Defendants agreed that they have the necessary discovery, allowing them to proceed in selecting rebuttal experts.”
In a story published on June 19, 2015, in the Daily Times, it was reported Margaret Temponeras, John Temponeras and Fankell were indicted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and those charges carry possible life in prison sentences if connections are made to the deaths of patients. In that indictment, Dated June 17, 2015, Margaret Temponeras is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of illegal distribution of a controlled substance, and one count of maintaining a facility for the purpose of illegal distribution of controlled substances. Each count is punishable by 20-life.
The most disturbing portion of the indictment reads – “During the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy, Margaret Temponeras using Unique Relief LLC, continued to fill prescriptions for excessive amounts of controlled substances knowing that these distributions have resulted in numerous overdoses, and, in some cases, deaths to her customers, including, but not limited to: Troy Dummitt, on or about January 15, 2009, William Stapleton, on or about April 29, 2009 and James Tolliver, on or about November 6, 2010.”
In the Daily Times story from June 19, 2015, it was reported that according to that indictment, Margaret Temponeras and John Temponeras were physicians specializing in family practice and OBGYN respectively, who changed their medical focus to pain management and began operating Unique Pain Management LLC in Wheelersburg. Margaret Temponeras also opened Unique Relief LLC in Wheelersburg. Raymond Fankell owned and operated Prime Pharmacy Group Inc., doing business as Medi-Mart Pharmacy in Portsmouth.
It is alleged in the indictments that all three defendants dispensed diazepam, hydrocodone and oxycodone not for a legitimate purpose and outside the scope of medical practice. Margaret and John Temponeras allegedly examined more than 20 customers per day, and provided large amounts of prescription medications to customers that they knew or had a reasonable cause to believe were drug addicts or diverting or selling the medication.
At one time Scioto County was home to 11 pain clinics, nicknamed “pill mills” but in legislation written by State Represenative Terry Johnson, and passed by the state of Ohio, the guidelines forced those facilities out of business, and now, no such clinics exist in the area.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.