Schuster sentenced to 5 years in prison

Pain doc faces fines, other penalties for illegal prescriptions

By The Mercury

Manhattan physician Michael Schuster was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison for unlawfully prescribing drugs, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Schuster, 54, pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Prosecutors dropped three other charges in exchange for Schuster’s plea and his agreement to the prison sentence and numerous financial penalties.

In his plea, Schuster admitted the crimes occurred from April 2007 to Aug. 2012 while he was operating out of his clinic, Manhattan Pain and Spine, 1135 Westport Drive.

Investigators documented more than 500 patients who received prescriptions while Schuster was out of his office. Some patients received prescriptions when Schuster was in other countries.

Schuster employed up to 12 staff members at a time to handle the clinic’s daily operations.

Though none had legal authority to do so, Schuster directed and allowed staff members to distribute controlled substances to patients using blank prescription pads he had signed in advance.

According to a news release from Grissom’s office, Schuster’s sentence requires him to pay restitution of $100,772 and a fine of $25,000.

In addition, Schuster agreed to forfeit his clinic building, a 2012 Ford pickup truck and more than $11,000 in two bank accounts. Schuster also agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $400,000.

On top of that, Schuster agreed to surrender his Kansas medical license, Drug Enforcement Administration registration number and promised not to reapply for either.

The Riley County Police Department began investigating Schuster in early 2012, when it received reports that he was issuing prescriptions for high dosages of scheduled drugs based on minimal physical exams.

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