PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A former chiropractor from Clackamas was sentenced to federal prison on Monday for distributing oxycodone pills through dozens of fraudulent prescriptions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon said one of those fake prescriptions led to the overdose death of a 26-year-old woman.
Mark Steven Gardner, 33, was sentenced to more than 4 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
In November 2015, Gardner, a chiropractor, stole a prescription pad from a physician with whom he shared his Portland office building. Over the next four months, Gardner used the doctor’s name to forge fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions.
Gardner instructed others to fill the prescriptions at times when he knew the doctor’s office, to which he had access, was closed. Gardner would then enter the doctor’s office, answer the phone, and pose as the doctor to verify the authenticity of the prescriptions when contacted by pharmacies.
On January 8, 2016, Gardner called 911 to report finding a female friend unresponsive. Paramedics arrived on scene and found Starlin Swan deceased. A subsequent autopsy and toxicology examination revealed that Swan had died of an oxycodone overdose.
On the afternoon before Swan’s death, Gardner forged a prescription for Swan for 90 30mg pills of oxycodone. The prescription was filled the same day, although the pharmacy only filled it for 60 oxycodone pills.
In total, Gardner forged 48 prescriptions for 25 different people, including some that were written after the overdose death of Swan. A total of 2,352 30mg oxycodone pills were fraudulently given out because of Gardner’s scheme. Following the discovery of the forgeries, Gardner was stripped of his chiropractic license.