Crime / Courts

Pill mill doctor never sentenced

U.S. Attorney’s Office confirms Temponeras has no sentencing scheduled




By Nikki Blankenship

Scioto County Candor


The Scioto County decline from steel mills to pill mills was one that hit the community hard. Once the home of dozens of pill mills, Scioto County still struggles with the new face of the opiate epidemic — heroin. As the State Attorney General’s Office joins with local government in a lawsuit against distributors and manufacturers, such as Purdue Pharma, who contributed to the epidemic, pill mill doctors remain unpunished for their crimes.

One of the doctors responsible for pumping prescription painkillers into Scioto County, Margaret Temponeras still remains unsentenced nearly a year after entering a guilty plea.

“Margaret Temponeras, 52, of Portsmouth, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, which she did through a pain clinic and dispensary,”  a release from the United States District Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman’s Office dated April 7, 2017 read.

The release further explained that Temponeras owned and was doctor at Unique Pain Management in Wheelersburg, where her father John Temponeras was also a doctor. For nearly six years, from 2005 to 2011, the two saw 20 patients a day and took cash payments starting at $200 an examination.

Many patients received monthly prescriptions for similar combinations of medications – namely, 120-150 pills of 15mg Oxycodone, 120-150 pills of 30mg Oxycodone and 90 pills of 2mg Xanax,” the U.S. Attorney’s release explained. Patients were referred to Raymond Fankell, 62, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, who owned Prime Pharmacy, to fill their prescriptions. Temponeras became aware that some pharmacies in the Scioto County area had declined to accept or fill her prescriptions from Unique Pain Management so she opened the dispensary Unique Relief LLC from the same location as her clinic in order to fill her own prescriptions.”

Both Temponeras and Fankell pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. John Temponeras also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, also punishable by up to 20 years.

Glassman credited the investigation to members of the DEA, FBI, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, and Ohio HIDTA, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Oakley and Timothy S. Mangan (who prosecuted the case). Individuals involved in the case include Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division; Steven W. Schierholt, Executive Director, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

Now, just weeks short of the one year anniversary of Margaret Temponeras’ guilty plea, she remains unsentenced for her crimes.

No sentencing date has been set at this time,” Jennifer Thornton, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed when the Scioto County Candor asked for details regarding Margaret Temponeras sentencing and incarceration.

Thornton stated that she spoke to the case attornies to confirm information regarding the case but stated that she had no other information, except that no sentencing is scheduled.