WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A western Pennsylvania doctor is facing charges for writing fraudulent and illegal prescriptions, Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry announced.
On March 1, Dr. Jessie Kunkel, of Murrysville, was arrested on charges related to writing fraudulent and illegal prescriptions for drugs such as Xanax and Adderall since 2018, Henry’s press release states.
The Office of Attorney General (OAG) investigation revealed that Kunkel had been prescribing patients drugs and keeping a portion of the pills for herself in exchange for writing the prescription.
In several cases, Kunkel allegedly wrote, filled, and picked up prescriptions for herself without the patient’s knowledge, even going as far as using former patients’ insurance to pay for the drugs.
“As a medical professional, Dr. Kunkel was trusted to care for her patients and her community,” said Acting AG Henry. “She violated that trust when she used her patients’ identities to gain access to drugs for her own recreational use. Our office will hold accountable any healthcare professional who takes advantage of their position and puts people’s safety at risk. ”
The investigation by the OAG revealed that Kunkel also prescribed drugs to people with whom she had personal relationships, without ever evaluating them as a patient, and often overlooked potential health risks.
Kunkel’s charges according to the OAG
- Eight counts of acquisition of a controlled substance by fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge
- One count of sale, dispensing, distribution, prescription or gift by any practitioner otherwise authorized by law so to do of any controlled substance to any person known to such practitioner to be or whom such practitioner has reason to know is a drug-dependent person
- Five counts of possession with intent to deliver/ delivery of a controlled substance
- Five counts of possession with intent to deliver/delivery of a controlled substance
- Five counts of possession of a controlled substance
- One count of insurance fraud.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Katie Wymard and Senior Deputy Attorney General Todd Goodwin.