Ex-doctor to change plea in Ohio pain pill case

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- An ex-doctor is changing his plea to charges that he conspired to illegally distribute controlled substances at Ohio pain medication clinics.

The indictment earlier this year against Mark Fantauzzi (fan-TOW'-zee) and six others alleged that dozens of customers a week would travel hundreds of miles to visit the clinics in southern and central Ohio and pay $200 per visit for painkillers.

The indictment said prescriptions were written without meaningful physical exams and contributed to the deaths of at least two patients.

A change of plea hearing next month was scheduled Monday for Fantauzzi in federal court in Cincinnati.

A plea change hearing typically means a defendant will plead guilty.

State medical board records say Fantauzzi's medical license was permanently revoked last year. His attorney, Random Hudson, declined comment Monday.