California neurosurgeon indicted on fraud & drug charges, may face 45 years in prison


Santa Rosa, Calif-based neurosurgeon Thomas Keller, MD, was charged with unlawful distribution of painkillers and healthcare fraud, according to The Press Democrat.

Here are five things to know:

1. The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco alleges Dr. Keller illegally distributed oxycodone, fentanyl and tramadol between June 2017 and July 2018.

2. Investigators claim the neurosurgeon prescribed the narcotics as a licensed physician but acted outside of his scope of practice. Dr. Keller allegedly wrote prescriptions without legitimate medical reasons.

3. Additionally, Dr. Keller faces two charges of healthcare fraud. He allegedly submitted two false claims to Anthem Blue Cross of California in March 2018 and Medi-Cal in July 2015.

4. After learning of the charges, Dr. Keller suspended his practice. He has not commented on the case.

5. Dr. Keller faces up to 45 years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines if convicted. His next appearance is court is Oct. 16.

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