|Sat, Mar 24, 2018 05:17 AM
|Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
LONDON — As part of a plea he copped with federal officials, Frederick Cohn took the stand Monday and testified against his former Russian cohort, who Cohn says shared in the proceeds of and sometimes solely operated a booming pain clinic in Paintsville.
|Cohn sides against ex-partner|
While Cohn's testimony during the federal trial of Yakov Drabovskiy, who worked for Cohn from August 2000 to August 2001 in Paintsville, implicates Drabovskiy knowingly and willingly took part in the "pill factory" medical practice. Drabovskiy tried to paint a different picture.
Drabovskiy, who is representing himself in the federal trial in London, tried to establish through his questioning of witnesses that he actually spent more time with patients than Cohn.
Other issues Drabovskiy also raised includes that he did not run the clinic and that he did not violate accepted medical practices.
On the stand this week, Cohn admitted that he often didn't examine patients and met with them only long enough to issue prescriptions.
Cohn — a 70-year-old Albuquerque, N.M. native — has pleaded guilty in federal court to various federal charges, including conspiracy to illegally distribute hundreds of thousands of prescription pills.
Since their arrest in August 2001, when federal and state authorities cracked down on doctors allegedly prescribing specific medications without a legitimate medical purpose, several other doctors throughout the region have also been targeted and arrested.
Drabovskiy is currently on trial in U.S. District Court in London for charges of conspiracy to illegally distribute drugs, distributing drugs without a legitimate reason, Medicaid fraud and money laundering.
According to Cohn's testimony, he was able to clear $50,000 a month after expenses, including $3,000 a week for his and Drabovskiy's salaries and the office payroll.
Cohn also said that business picked up to the point that there were too many patients for him to see by himself, and Drabovskiy was hired to see 30 patients a day so Cohn could see 90.
Former employees of the pain clinic in Paintsville testified last week that Cohn wanted Drabovskiy to spend less time with patients so he could see more of them.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger West introduced records from numerous pharmacies to show how many pills patients got from Cohn and Drabovskiy. The records show that more than 5 million pills were prescribed by the two doctors over the period of one year.
Most of those pills were prescribed by Cohn, records reflect, but more than a million were prescribed by Drabovskiy.
The former tag team doctors are also pitted against the other in a civil case filed last week in Johnson Circuit Court. That case involves Drabovskiy seeking his final paycheck from Cohn and reimbursements for other expenses.