Prosecutors oppose doctor’s dismissal motions

By The Mercury

Federal prosecutors are opposing motions to dismiss two charges against a Manhattan physician accused of illegally distributing painkillers through his clinic.

Michael P. Schuster, 53, was indicted by a grand jury in May on allegations that he signed blank prescription forms that his staff used to give prescriptions to 542 patients while he was out of the country.

According to court documents, prosecutors believe the indictment was sufficient to charge Schuster with “intentional and knowing” criminal conduct.

Schuster filed the motion dismiss two of the counts against him because that language was omitted from the charges. 

The government and the defense are exploring plea negotiations. After that happens, the prosecution will present new evidence to a grand jury to supersede the indictment.

A hearing to consider Schuster’s request will be Nov. 4 in Topeka.

One of Schuster’s employees was also indicted based on allegations that she wrote prescriptions for more than 20 people.

Sarah Harding-Huffine, 29, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute drugs and one count of drug distribution.

Harding-Huffine is free on bail. Schuster is in jail with no bond.

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