Father-Son Team Need Alcohol Drug Class

by: Mike Miller

The saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” most certainly is true in the following story of a pair of individuals involved in illegally distributing prescription medication.

A father and son who operated a medical practice in Franconia Township, Pennsylvania filled so many illegal prescriptions over the past year that it led to prescription drug abuse, overdose deaths and an increase in drug-fueled crimes in Montgomery and Bucks counties.

Dr. Richard Ruth, 76, and Michael Ruth, 43, were arrested and charged with a number of drug offenses after a yearlong drug investigation.

Police allegedly recovered painkillers prescribed by Dr. Ruth during arrests for crimes in Franconia Township, Hilltown Township and Telford and that his pill bottles were also found at the scene of overdose deaths

In a drug arrest in Hatfield Township in July 2011, police arrested a woman after finding 500 bags of heroin and painkillers prescribed by Dr. Ruth. The woman admitted to police she sold the prescription drugs and heroin to drug addicts.

In September 2010, Telford police and nearby departments began an investigation into Ruth after reviewing drug-fueled crimes in their areas and reviewing information from confidential informants.

Investigators received complaints from that Ruth was overprescribing Oxycodone to young people. A review of his records showed he filled 1,799 Oxycodone prescriptions, mostly to people between 20 and 30 years of age in less than a year.

Nice Work, Doc!

Investigators also learned that family members of Dr. Ruth's patients had asked him to stop prescribing Oxycodone and other pills, but he ignored these requests.

While detectives searched his office, some patients who appeared to still be under the influence entered the medical office looking for more pills. One was arrested in the parking lot for driving while impaired, and another patient walked past detectives, cash in hand, looking for an Oxycodone refill.

A Real Saint

Dr. Ruth admitted he is not a pain-management specialist, but wrote prescriptions when his patients complained of pain, so "they could get to work, pay their taxes, and would not collect welfare, which costs us all money."

He also admitted he knows that some of his patients are addicted to Oxycodone and do not need medical care. Dr. Ruth said he had been warned by a former patient that the district attorney was investigating his medical practice, but continued practicing medicine instead of retiring because his wife had lost $600,000 in a Nigerian scam and he was trying to recoup his losses.

Investigators also interviewed Dr. Ruth's patients and found that many have since moved on to stronger drugs, including heroin.

Dr. Ruth and his son are charged with corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, insurance fraud and criminal conspiracy. Dr. Ruth is also charged with 10 counts each of prescription fraud, prescribing to a drug dependent person, prescribing in bad faith and identity theft. His son is also charged with 10 counts of identity theft.

A couple of real winners here. All the lives they helped destroy due solely to their own personal greed.