OAKLAND – On November 19, 2021, the California Attorney General’s Office announced the conviction of East Bay and Central Valley-based physician Edmund Kemprud. Following prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, a jury found Kemprud guilty of 14 counts of illegally prescribing opioids and other controlled substances to patients.
“Prescribing medicine, particularly opioids, to people who have no legitimate need for them is harmful to our families, neighborhoods, and communities,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Investigating physicians who violate their oath and have no regard for the harm they cause by illegally prescribing highly addictive medicine takes time and a great deal of effort by law enforcement agencies on many levels. Kudos for combining the resources that led to the prosecution and conviction of this individual.”
“This defendant displayed a blatant disregard for patient safety and the law,” Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said. “Although he knew his treatment of patients was unlawful, he continued to pump dangerous drugs into the community. It took the effort of agents, investigators, undercover officers, medical professionals who practiced with the defendant and pharmacists to bring an end to Kemprud’s illicit prescription writing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue our vigorous pursuit of those who fuel the opioid epidemic for their own personal benefit.”
The multiagency investigation found that between September 6, 2018, and March 13, 2019, Kemprud prescribed opioids without first determining the patients’ medical and prescription histories, conducting a proper medical examination, confirming the legitimacy of the patients’ complaints, or assessing the risk of the patient’s potential abuse of the drug. He prescribed highly addictive, commonly abused opioids such as Hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and Oxycodone — substances that affect the central nervous system and may only be prescribed when medically required. The investigation also uncovered that Kemprud knowingly operated outside of professional practice with the intention that his patients would continue to return for more prescriptions.
The criminal investigation conducted by California DOJ DMFEA, DEA, and OIG resulted in the filing of 14 felony charges against the defendant, as well as his arrest on Dec. 9, 2019.