Accused drug doctors named in new indictment
Three years after charges were first filed, federal prosecutors last week filed a superseding indictment against two former western Colorado doctors who authorities allege were responsible for a regional spike in drug addiction.
Sam Jahani and Eric Peper, who were originally charged by a federal grand jury in August 2011, were named in a 51-count indictment filed Aug. 26 of this year listing charges of conspiracy, health care fraud, money laundering, unlawful dispensing of a controlled substance and aiding and abetting.
Prosecutors said in recent court filings that a new indictment would be filed toward simplifying the case.
“Over the time period alleged in this indictment, law enforcement officers, county jails and medical health professionals saw increasing amounts of controlled substances, prescribed by Jahani and Peper, being sold illegally and used in excess, which led to significant increases in addicts, drug seekers and overdose cases in the health care systems of the Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose areas,” the indictment reads.
The doctors are accused of causing the overdose deaths of four patients, identified in court records by their initials: “D.T.,” “C.L.,” “V.A.,” and “Ke.G.”
“Immediately subsequent to the death of C.L, Eric Peper admitted to a staff member that he knew he should not have prescribed Oxycontin for C.L., and that he knew C.L. would abuse the prescription at the time he prescribed it,” the indictment said.
The indictment alleges a conspiracy between the men between 2006 and 2010.
Jahani once operated Urgent Care Inc., clinics at 164 W. Third St. in Delta; 2305 S. Townsend Ave., Unit B, in Montrose and at 517 N. First St. in Grand Junction. Peper worked for Jahani. Those offices were closed following a raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration on Oct. 14, 2009.
The U.S. government also is seeking the forfeiture of $3.22 million from the men, which prosecutors say was profit from the alleged conspiracy.
The case still has not been scheduled for trial. Jahani and Peper had previously pleaded not guilty.