An osteopathic doctor based out of Kansas City has pled guilty to trafficking black-market anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and other controlled substances in federal court this past April.
Dr. John Verstraete, and osteopathic medical professional that operated and influential HIV/AIDS specialty medical clinic in the Kansas City community apparently was moonlighting as a black-market drug trafficker of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.
According to documents that had been filed with the federal court in Kansas City, Dr. Verstraete admitted to selling millions and millions of dollars worth of these controlled substances to local bodybuilders that had absolutely no real medical need for these drugs in the first place.
Dr. Verstraete pled guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud as well as to the charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances outside the range of actual medical practices while he attended proceedings in US Federal court in April 2018.
Interestingly enough, however, his numerous private medical practices throughout Kansas City continue to be buzzing along as if nothing odd has happened at all. Dr. Verstraete continues to be licensed and legally able to practice medicine throughout Missouri, and the only real difference that anything at all had changed at these medical facilities is that Dr. Verstraete himself is no longer able to prescribe controlled substances.
Other doctors at these clinics do not have the same restrictions, which isn’t surprising – considering the fact that none of them were indicted, charged, or involved in the moonlighting operation of this black-market drug trafficker.
Federal investigators alleged that Dr. Verstraete specifically targeted the HIV and AIDS patients that had been visiting his medical offices for treatment for these dangerous, deadly, and debilitating conditions. The primary medical practice he operated, as well as the HIV/AIDS clinic, and even the health and wellness spa he ran became outlets for the trafficking of these illicit and controlled substances.
HIV and AIDS patients are regularly prescribed HGH and steroids in order to help fight back against these debilitating diseases that can cause so much muscular atrophy and muscular wasting. However, federal investigators and prosecutors charged Dr. Verstraete with prescribing these same medications to those that had absolutely no real reason (medically) to utilize these substances – and these are the charges that Dr. Verstraete has pled guilty to.
The operation that Dr. Verstraete was running was rather efficient, if not all that complex or convoluted.
Verstraete would prescribe HGH and anabolic steroids to a number of his patients, entrusting these patients to go to a nearby pharmacy and have the phony prescriptions filled. These individuals would then come back to the doctor’s office where he would pay them for the HGH and steroids – and then the doctor was free to sell these prescription grade anabolics and HGH solutions to local bodybuilders and athletes at premium prices.
Federal prosecutors also charged Verstraete with importing injectable steroids from sources overseas, all in an effort to become a “full-service” black-market steroid operation.
Dr. Verstraete named at least 7different patients that helped him create this drug trafficking scheme between the years 2011 in 2014 as part of his plea arrangement. Prosecutors were unable to determine exactly how much of Verstraete’s business was built on the back of these illicit deals, but they concluded that at least $1.5 million worth of fraudulent insurance claims passed through these medical facilities in the facilitation of this drug dealing operation.
Part of the plea deal that Dr. Verstraete signed includes agreeing to repay $1.5 million in fraudulent insurance claims. The doctor had faced up to two decades in prison, but because he pled guilty the odds are very good that he won’t face any jail time at all – especially since he’ll be repaying that $1.5 million.