Feds arrest doctor on 655-count drug-fraud indictment

A federal grand jury indicted a former ER doctor at Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colo., on 655 controlled-substance and conspiracy counts, U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sweetin announced Tuesday.

Federal investigators caught up with Dr. Louis Hampers of Denver and arrested him in Virginia yesterday. Hampers' arrest led to the unsealing of the indictment, which was issued on Aug. 26, the Denver Post reports.

Hampers was a pediatric emergency medicine specialist and a faculty member at the University of Colorado, who used aliases and fake prescriptions to illegally obtain more than 20,000 tablets of Hydrocodone between January 2009 and April 2010. For each of the 655 counts, he faces four years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

Hampers used five aliases--including Mark Hampton, Carl O'Hanlon and Lou Gray-- and allegedly conspired with others to acquire Hydrocodone (generic Vicodin) and Zolpidem (generic Ambien) by fraud and deceit. The other 654 counts involve charges of getting controlled substances including Hydrocodone, Zolpidem, Diazepam (generic Valium) and in one instance Methylphenid (generic Ritalin) by fraud and deceit. Each count represents a transaction in which Hampers illegally obtained a prescription, often at the local Walgreens, Safeway, or Target.

The indictment alleges Hampers filled the prescriptions made out to his aliases at 25 pharmacies in several towns or cities, including Aurora, Denver, Littleton, Wheat Ridge and Englewood.

Hampers also faces other legal problems, the Post reports. The Colorado Medical Board wanted to suspend his license, but instead he agreed not to see patients or do anything that requires his medical license.

The embattled doctor has not provided care at the hospital's ER since March, the Denver Business Journal reports. He also no longer has active medical staff privileges at the hospital.

To learn more:
- read the indictment
- see the U.S. attorney for Colorado's press release on the case
- see the Denver Business Journal article
- read the Denver Post article
- see the ABC7 article