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Richmond-area doctor found guilty of all 19 counts in ‘pill mill’ trial

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RICHMOND, Va. – A federal jury on Thursday found a local physician guilty of 19 counts connected to the pill mill scheme that prosecutors said allowed for thousands of dangerous and addictive drugs out on the streets.

Dr. Clarence Scranage Jr., 62, was found guilty of 18 counts of distribution of controlled substances and 1 count of conspiracy to possess controlled substances with the intent to distribute.

The King George man chose to act as his own lawyer during the trial.

Prosecutors said Scranage used offices in Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield for the illegal operation. Those offices were located on Ownby Lane, Courthouse Road and Bremo Road.

Authorities said that Scranage failed to assess the medical needs of numerous people to whom he wrote prescriptions, and allowed his medical practice to function as a “pill mill.”

The prosecution argued that Scranage worked with another man to recruit clients to write hundreds of prescriptions for oxycodone for people he never saw. The alleged patients would then be paid for use of their names and for filling the drugs.

Wednesday, the prosecution had an expert in medical pain management and legitimate and illegitimate prescriptions testify.

Dr. Gene Kennedy was tasked with going through Scranage’s folders and evidence retrieved by the FBI to determine if prescriptions for oxycodone written by Scranage were legitimate.

In all instances involving the patients in the case, Dr. Kennedy said the prescriptions of oxycodone were not medically legitimate and the standard of care was below the minimum standard.

Dr. Kennedy testified that in many of the patient files there were no documentations of physical exams, consent forms, actual diagnosis, studies or urine samples.

In short, he said, there was no credible evidence of an actual patient-physician relationship.

In a few instances, Dr. Kennedy said Dr. Scranage’s frequent prescriptions of 30mg oxycodone pills at such high number of oxycodone pills without any legitimate medical explanation “simple drug dealing.”

Scranage is scheduled to be sentenced on November 17.