Second indicted doctor jailed in Florida Keys
A second former western Colorado doctor who was indicted federally on suspicion of prescription fraud was arrested Wednesday at his home in Florida, authorities said.
Dr. Eric Peper, 53, of Summerland Key, Fla., was arrested without incident by agents of the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations division, Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement. Peper was advised Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court in Key West, where a judge ordered he be held on a $250,000 surety bond, IRS special agent John Harrison said.
As of 4 p.m., he remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
With a surety bond, Peper could potentially bond out by putting up approximately $30,000, but he must convince a judge those funds are from legal activities, Harrison said.
Peper is scheduled for a bond hearing Friday in Florida, when his attorneys may lodge objections to the government’s proposed bond conditions.
Among those conditions, Peper, who already surrendered his medical license, will have to surrender his DEA registration number and will be restricted to traveling to and from his home in Florida and federal court in Grand Junction.
In or out of custody, Peper will have to appear again in court in Florida on Aug. 19 for an extradition hearing.
Peper has a scheduled first appearance at the Wayne N. Aspinall federal building in Grand Junction at 11 a.m. on Aug. 30.
Peper is restrained from contacting any former employee or patient at his former Urgent Care clinics in Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose. He’s restrained from conducting any international monetary transaction, and he cannot create any legal business entity without prior court approval. Peper must also surrender his passport.
Harrison said nearly identical bond conditions were ordered during a court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Beaumont, Texas, for Peper’s former partner, Dr. Sam Jahani, 49, who was arrested Monday night in Texas.
Jahani is free after posting a $100,000 cash bond. He is scheduled to appear in court in Grand Junction at 11 a.m. Aug. 23.
Unlike Peper’s case, the Texas judge did not require Jahani to surrender his medical license before walking out of jail, according to Harrison. Reasons for the diverging bond terms for the two doctors weren’t immediately clear.
Both doctors were named in a 70-count indictment alleging they committed health care fraud and overprescribed painkillers such as Oxycontin, which resulted in the deaths of four patients.