Temponeras pleads guilty

Temponeras at a hearing in 2012

Former Wheelersburg Physician and pain clinic and dispensary operator Margaret “Margy” Temponeras, 52, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Timothy J. Plancon, special agent in charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Angela L. Byers, special agent in charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, Steven W. Schierholt, executive director, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, and the Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) announced the plea entered into Friday before U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black.

Temponeras owned and was the physician at Unique Pain Management in Wheelersburg. Her father, John Temponeras, 82, was also a physician at the clinic.

From June 2005 until May 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Temponeras and her father saw more than 20 patients per day, who paid cash payments starting at $200 for each medical examination. Many patients received monthly prescriptions for similar combinations of medications – namely, 120-150 pills of 15 milligram Oxycodone, 120-150 pills of 30 milligram Oxycodone and 90 pills of 2 milligram Xanax.

At the time Temponeras operated the clinic, 11 such operations were located in Scioto County. Eventually all of them were shut down.

According to court transcripts, patients were referred to Raymond Fankell, 62, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, who owned Prime Pharmacy, to fill their prescriptions.

Temponeras became aware that some pharmacies in the Scioto County area had declined to accept or fill her prescriptions from Unique Pain Management so she opened the dispensary Unique Relief LLC from the same location as her clinic in order to fill her own prescriptions.

Temponeras and Fankell have each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, which is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. John Temponeras pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, which carries the same potential maximum sentence.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of the case by the DEA, FBI, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, and Ohio HIDTA, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Oakley and Timothy S. Mangan, who are representing the United States in this case.

Jennifer Thornton of the Department of Justice told the Daily Times Friday no date has been set for sentencing.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.