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UPDATE: Four doctors arrested in clinic raids

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Four doctors who supposedly ran a system of clinics aimed at helping addicts kick painkillers were illegally selling a drug that's supposed to aid in rehabilitation, authorities said Friday.

Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local police officers raided clinics Friday morning in Carmel, Noblesville, Muncie, Kokomo and Centerville following an undercover operation that began in 2011.

Dr. Larry Ley, 68, of Noblesville, was being held on $1 million bond on drug-dealing charges in Hamilton County Jail north of Indianapolis. A jail officer did not know if Ley, who prosecutors say was the leader of the operation, had an attorney. A dozen additional suspects, including three other doctors, were either under arrest or being sought by police.

"This was exploiting some people who were really in need for profit," said Dennis Wichern, assistant special agent in charge at the DEA's Indianapolis office.

The probable cause affidavit said that patients would go to clinics operated by organizations called the Drug and Opiate Recovery Network or Living Life Clean and pay cash for prescriptions of Suboxone, a drug that can be used to treat addictions to opioid painkillers or heroin. The clinics took cash and did not accept insurance.

Carmel police Maj. Aaron Dietz said at a news conference Friday that patients going to the Carmel clinic who said they were seeking help for an addiction could obtain a Suboxone prescription after paying $300 cash. Those patients could later get additional prescriptions by paying $120 to $160 cash fees to a receptionist or other employee "virtually never having contact with Dr. Ley or any other doctor," Dietz said.

Dietz said the patients didn't undergo any medical or mental exams and weren't asked to provide medical histories.

Ley sometimes delivered a 15-minute lecture, but there were no drug screenings, the affidavit said. He sometimes met with patients in the park, Dietz said, noting, "One of the 27 undercover visits took only 39 seconds, while others lasted only a few minutes."

Office employees handed out pre-signed prescriptions, the affidavit alleged. In 2013, Ley allegedly wrote nearly 8,500 prescriptions, generating an income of $718,000, the affidavit said.

One patient who visited a clinic referred to it on an online medical site as a "legal drug-pushing operation," the affidavit said.

Dietz said Ley and the other doctors contributed to the area's prescription drug abuse troubles by misusing their medical licenses "for the sole means to make money."

Dietz said the operation attracted hundreds of people seeking the prescriptions.

"We had clients coming from all over the state of Indiana to these clinics," he said.

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  • GREED
    I know Larry Ley....we never got along because he could not play by the rules when he fell on hard times and lost his medical license. These doctors think they can make a quick buck in this industry. I saw it coming from 15 years ago! If you plan on working in the drug and alcohol treatment industry, you need to know what you are doing. Greed got the best of him like it with another physician I worked with who did the same thing as Larry. He is not an addiction specialist, he is a greedy man that thought he was helping people. These people now will be out of medication and possibly going back to using their drug of choice because they can't get Suboxone. I'm sure he didn't think of that as he was counting his CASH every Friday. It caught up with him and his followers (associates and other MD's). I know this business and I know how to do it correctly and how to do it wrong. He did it wrong.
  • Dr. Ley
    I agree what kind of help or if any will be there for Dr. Ley's patients. I was a patient myself.
  • what about the patients
    What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.
    • Carmel, Noblesville
      I thought there was no crime "up in the land of the beautiful people"? I guess there is!!!
    • Seriously
      "If you want to read about murders, drug dealing, etc. go read it at other sources." Well I apologize for mentioning Mr. Irsay Ceo of the Colts, subsided billionaire, drug addict who just happens to have spent time in the Hamilton county jail. It just seems funny that his last bit of trouble was investigated somewhat. http://www.wthr.com/story/4544111/prescription-drug-investigation His most recent case, hmm not so much. Its not Ironic that this case involves drugs for money, the only irony here these guys won't walk like Jimmy did. Cash Is King.
    • More info..
      More information would have prevented these posts. Methadone clinic doesn't equal cash and carry opiate ring. I don't usually complain about reporting but the headlines most news reports are using for this story is out of line.
    • Educate before commenting
      1. Irsay isn't the topic of the story. He wasn't charged with selling drugs. Move on. 2. Please learn how a methadone clinic works. Yes, you provide synthetic opiates to help people get off the real thing which is far more powerful and worse for your body. It helps them combat withdrawl as they slowly rid their body's system of the toxins. You can't just quit opiates cold-turkey and expect to live if you have been using it quite frequently and taking high-doses. 3. IBJ is a "Business" newspaper. If you want to read about murders, drug dealing, etc. go read it at other sources. If you expect them to cover everything like the Star, then go read the Star. How about making some insightful, though-provoking comments about the articles in the IBJ that actually challenge people to talk about the stories provided?? These comments are just you complaining. We (the other readers), do not need to read about you complaining, crying and moaning about meaningless issues which could be resolved by actually educating yourself about the issues before you post about them to make yourselves feel greater...while it only makes you look so much smaller to those that use common sense.
    • Where's the justice?
      Jimmy Irsay is still walking the street a free man, no drug charges not a one...
    • Refer To Fox 59
      Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.
    • Hmmm
      So doctors are arrested for prescribing a drug to people who are addicted to opiates, the purpose of which is to help people treat and break that addiction? Something doesn't add up...
    • Information Please
      Great work IBJ. Another half-assed use of the media. How about names? Here is a link with more information by a reputable news organization not afraid to do the legwork. http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2014/07/25/dea-raids-clinics-arrests-four-doctors/13158329/

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