Monday, April 18, 2011

Dr. Roger Pellmann is Innocent!

I surrendered to federal custody on November 15, 2010.  As you might imagine, looking forward to serving a certain period of incarceration is a miserable thing to have hanging over your head.  And as 2010 was coming to an end I was increasingly anxious to have my term of imprisonment underway--certainly I didn't envision a happy and joyous holiday.  My daughter looked about a year-and-a-half pregnant although not due until mid-January.  I wanted to get my prison sentence done, and get home to my expanding family.  On December 23 my daughter gave birth to the Bad Lawyer's first grandson!  He's a wonderful little Bad Baby Boy! 

So the BSL (Blond Super Lawyer) dropped me off in front of the federal courthouse in OurTown where I promptly surrendered to US Marshal custody.  In case you are wondering, I don't recommend this technique of self-surrender.  Had I been patient I would have received a nice little letter from the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirming my reservations for FCI, Morgantown and I could have driven myself to Morgantown and "self-surrendered" at the camp.  Oh, no, Mr. Bad Lawyer had to turn his badness in to the guys with the shackles and shotguns.  And by 4 AM the next morning I was dumped in a 3-man cell with two, not very happy, 20-something gangsters (Bloods) from Buffalo and Pittsburgh in a cell block at the Youngstown, Ohio Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) facility.  I had arrived in a medium to high security private prison contracted to the US Marshal's for temporary custody of inmates.  This would prove to be not good.

I'll write at length about this CCA-scam, um, system, but for now that's all prelude to telling you about how I ended up at FCI, Morgantown and specifically how it is that I came to meet the Milwaukee, Wi-area physician, Roger Pellmann, M.D.  As the title of this post says, I came to believe that Dr. Roger Pellmann is innocent and more importantly a victim of a fantastic miscarriage of judgment.  I met Roger on December 15th when after a month at the CCA I was placed on a bus, again in shackles driven to a mysterious staging facility moved to another more secure bus, moved to a tarmac where inmates dressed in purple coffee filter like coveralls climbed down from a ConAir flight from Oklahoma City (don't ask, "diesel therapy" is a topic for another day.)  On the tarmac in Pittsburgh, the inmates from the various flights were sorted among the buses.  Roger stood out in a line of inmates looking a wee bit like a dazed Gene Wilder, (circa Blazing Saddles) shackled but one of the few guys still dressed in street clothes.  Roger shuffled onto the bus and sat next to me for the ride to Morgantown.  We both ended up assigned to the same housing unit. 

At the link you can read John Diedrich's Journal-Sentinel article on Roger's conviction.  Go ahead.  It's an accurate summary of why Roger got on the bus with me to Morgantown.   Roger's doing time for dispensing a "powerful" painkiller to a patient.  Get this, what's even more astonishing, the incredible damning evidence against Roger included photographs of some 14,000 empty ampules of fentanyl that the DEA found around Roger's clinic, car and residence.  According to the J-SOnline article,  Roger was "convicted on 16 counts of dispensing powerful painkillers without a legitimate medical purpose [was] sentenced to four years in federal prison. [Roger Pellman, M.D.] ran the Center for Medical Imaging and Vein and Laser Skin Care Clinics in Germantown, was convicted by a jury of illegally dispensing fentanyl and morphine to a nurse who worked for his clinics in 2009."

What a dirtbag, right?

In fact Roger Pellmann is a sweet, funny, naive, and serious minded multi-board certified physician.  The registered nurse he treated (for free) was his office manager, business associate and girlfriend.  She suffered from trigeminal neuralgia (TN) also called the suicide disease which his nurse developed in a following a botched oral surgery.  That's right folks, untreated,  many TN patients kill themselves.  At the link you can read the Wikipedia entry for TN.  I urge you to read about the complex signs and symptoms for TN and the recommended care for the condition. 

So Roger treats his friend, when lo and behold the patient's sister in law puts the squeeze on Roger for some recreational pain meds, I suppose on the theory of since you're handing 'em out ot my sister-in-law how 'bout me too?  Roger refused. The offended sister-in-law-from-hell goes to the DEA.  I myself have speculated that the good folks at the DEA when presented with this tale of the thousands of ampules of fentanyl came to believe that Dr. Roger Pellmann was running a pill mill.  After a lenghty investigation, the DEA came up with nothing--just this astonishing situation involving a business associate-nurse-girlfriend being treated for this unheard of disorder, TN. 

Now I concede to you on Pellmann's behalf that fentanyl is some pretty heavy stuff.  It's frequently delivered via these patches which until recently (when reconfigured by pharmaceutical companies) could be manipulated to achieve some sort of "high."  That was not the case with the dosages used in Roger's care of his patient.  The reason Roger used 14,000 ampules was that this was low dose delivery.  Added up the equivalent fentanyl used by Roger in the care of his patient over the 8 month added up to a grand total of 4 fentanyl patches--or put another way, a fraction of one dose given to a cancer patient for pain. 
Now remember, Roger was convicted of "dispensing powerful painkillers without a legitimate medical purpose."  How did the government obtain this conviction?  I mean how did the government prove "without a legitimate medical purpose?"  Surely, the Milwaukee jury must have heard from physicians, medical professors, learned experts on pharmacology?  Yes?

No.

The government presented no medical experts, no physicians, no professors, no one qualified or competent to speak to the medical standard of "legitimate medical purpose."  So how did this case get to a jury and more importantly, what "evidence" did the jury base their decision on?  The DEA's photographs of empty ampules of the low dose fentanyl (--imagine if you will lots of little St. Joseph Aspirin bottles) which were artfully posed by DEA agents were submitted at trial and cited by the government in the government's appellate brief.  That's it. 

Here's the thing, I can only bring my Bad Lawyer goggles to this travesty of justice.  As followers of Bad Lawyer know, I practiced civil trial law for 28 years both as a plaintiff and a defense lawyer.  A case like the government's vis-a-vis Roger Pellmann if it had been a medical malpractice case, better yet, a mere whiplash car accident claim--it would not have made it to a jury upon a motion to dismiss.  There was an utter failure of the burden of proof.  And yet a Milwaukee federal Judge and Jury was baffled by bullshit.  The government now contends in their appellate Reply brief that despite an absence of competent and credible medical testimony the Pellmann jury had sufficient lay knowledge to determine whether a "legitimate medical purpose" existed for the dispensing of fentanyl for a patient suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia.  Right.

So what did all this cost Roger Pellman, his employees, and his patients?  Well it cost Pellmann his freedom, reputation, license, businesses, his family, all of his property, homes, cars, etcetera.  His employees at two separate clinics lost their jobs, and the local government lost the taxes and economic investment in their community.  Roger's children and ex-wife lost child support.  Why? 

Roger Pellmann is innocent.  Seriously, I didn't meet many truly innocent folks at Morgantown, including yours truly, but Pellmann is innocent.  There are a lot of guys at Morgantown and I'm sure, elsewhere, throughout federal and state custody who are badly served by incarceration and particularly by the long and costly warehousing of former professionals and others.  This is something I will want to go on about at some length, as with other subjects.  But the truly innocent are rare.  Roger Pellmann is truly innocent and wrongly convicted. 

I left Morgantown last Wednesday, but Roger's still there.

31 comments:

  1. This is another worthy entry in the BadLawyer blog. Poor Dr. Pellmann. Is it possible that Dr. Pellmann caused some of his problems with the DEA by obscuring his various roles with his patient? I mean its not fair to destroy a person like this but what lesson can you draw from how to avoid situations like this in your professional practice?

    ReplyDelete
  2. First let me say it's so good to have my Badness back, secondly your story about this doctor is chilling. I hope his appellate attorney picks up on your post.

    Molly

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dr. Roger Pellmann is innocent, Anon, it matters not whit (in a legal sense) to me whether he "caused" his situation. Clearly, his record keeping in the distribution of these low dose ampules should have been better; and, hindsight being 20/20 he should not have rendered care to this lady, he should have referred her to a colleague. Someone asked me why he had so many of these empty ampules laying around. I assume it was because there are regulatory reasons and possibly even some recordkeeping purposes--I really don't know. Pellmann did not keep his boundaries straight, BUT he did not commit any crime. None.

    Should lawyers who practice corporate law, who draft a "free" will for a family member or friend be held to be criminally responsible for record keeping. What about your pal the doctor who on a holiday weekend calls in a "script" for you?

    This is an insane prosecution.

    BL

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe you should get your story straight! Girlfriend, Jaclyn had a fiance that was NOT Roger Pellmann and I worked with her for 6 months and she basically prostituted him for all kinds of narcotics, so he was fooled, but very guilty!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon--

    Thank you for your comment and insights, having read the trial transcript I don't recall your testimony or any testimony on this point.

    I offer the "girlfriend" characterization because that's what the US Attorney suggests in their briefing although I Roger Pellmann actually called her his dear friend.

    I'll accept your characterization of Dr. Pellmann as being fooled, but you don't sound like you're making a legal argument when you claim he was "guilty." The post is a critique of how the government prosecutes and obtains convictions. Pellmann was prosecuted without one shred of medical testimony supporting the governments theories.

    But, again thank you.

    BL

    ReplyDelete
  6. Come on now... watching "the Donald" a little too closely and following another conspiracy theory??? I give the American Government credit for following up on a tip, whether it stemmed out of revenge not... I do think justice prevailed and you heard Roger's story, I saw the soap opera in full production... A sucker is born everyday, just ask Roger!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Roger Pellmann, M.D.May 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    [ed.]Through the miracle of snail mail, the following comments from Dr. Pellmann are being added to this blawg post:

    Dear Anon (Melissa M.) Are your false and disparraging comments about Dr. Pellmann due to the reprimand you received after refusing a direct order to obtain vitals from a patient placed in your care. Laziness and stupidity? You could at least get the spelling of your former employer's name correct.

    Anon 4/18 There are something like 763,000 practicing physicians in the US. There are 5,000 DEA agents arrest 80 doctors annually. In my case I experienced evidence suppression, manipulation and falsification. I did not know this sort of thing happened in this country. So how do you prevent Pill Mill abuses? Take away all pain meds and no longer prescribe controlled pain meds. In the meantime truly regulate pill mills not supplant the medical judgment of individual doctor treating a single patient in excruciating pain.

    Roger Pellmann, M.D.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Although there are many more facts that the Bad Lawyer was not told about by Dr. Pellmann, one important fact that should be revealed was that Dr. Pellmann used another physician's license to order drugs AFTER he was ordered NOT to order OR administer drugs. Dr. Pellmann continued to do so for several months following that order, only to jeopardize the license of another physician. And the fact that Dr. Pellmann was a radiologist, not a pain management doctor. The mixing of fentanyl and morphine could have been fatal. Everyone involved was very lucky, given the circumstances. It's unbelievable that blame was placed on the aforementioned "sister-in-law" who did get drugs from Dr. Pellmann, as did her husband, who was the nurse, girlfriend, prostitute's (aka Jacquelynn) brother...just as others got drugs from Dr. Pellmann. As with anything, it only takes time for the truth to come out. The DEA was watching Dr. Pellmann. It was evident to the entire staff exactly what was going on at that clinic. Some staff left willingly and quickly, but some were too afraid of losing their jobs and went along with Dr. Pellmann's "orders" to administer, even though his license to administer had been suspended. Kudos to the staff member that had enough sense to put an end to this nonsense and not put his/her license on the line and jeopardize patient care for Dr. Pellmann as he strived to obtain his personal desires.

    As for nurse, girlfriend, prostitute - Jacquelynn, who walked away with no charges, she continues her engagement with her long time fiancé....(not Dr. Pellmann) while Dr. Pellmann serves his federal prison sentence awaiting his release so he can marry her.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anon--

    Your claimed intimate and damning knowledge of facts that are not part of the trial record of Dr. Pellmann's case are remarkable. Pretty clearly you are a poster with an agenda. But thanks for your addition to the commentary which while not germane to the post itself certainly ought to tell professionals that once you are a target, guess what crawls out from underneath the rock.
    BL

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dr. Pellmann via miracles of snail mailMay 23, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Anon May 4th

    I nor my attorney alleged government conspiracy, but now that you mention it, conspiracy is not a theory but a crime. Yes, 3 drug agents have been nominat3ed for day time drama.

    If a physician performing his duty relieving the excruciating pain and suffering of his patient referring to, consulting with & working in concert with multiple pratitioners in the field is a fool, so be it!

    Roger

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interestingly enough, I was looking up Dr. Pellmann's business to talk with him regarding a vein procedure that he performed on me. Now that he's incarcerated, how can I let him know that he didn't complete the closure in my left leg that I paid him in full to do? I suffered beyond what words can describe during the next pregnancy, and I continue to suffer immensely. I'd like to ask him for the money back that I paid for the job that I thought he completed. I discovered with another ultrasound the cause of more vein issues is in fact b/c the procedure was not completed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is the same man who knew exactly what he was doing by having my legitamit business Dermascape at the Princeston club evicted trying to use it as a scapegoat to get out of his contract at the Princeston club for a failing laser center. I a Single mom, working hard, Dr Roger Pellmann went out of his way using my business Dermascape to get out of a lease he no longer wanted to keep. Using a non compete claus from the contract incorrectly, the club evicted me .I Since have filed bankruptcy , lost my home and car. Applied for food stamps. I forgive you Roger, but orange should be your favorite color for awhile . Nance

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ok, so let's get this story straight here. This IS Melissa M. It came to my attention last night that there's this blog proclaiming Pellmann's "innocence" and that my name is in a response from him. Funny how I could have posted comments on a blog I didn't know existed. I must be some sort of God-created miracle to pull that off. I'm so sorry that you've been SO manipulated to believe what you do; I guess I'm not surprised though. If you knew anything, you'd know that after I told the truth to the DEA, I was stripped of my duties as an RN in retaliation and forced to scrub floors and clean rooms. I still have the papers to prove it. Lazy and stupid? Yes, a 20 year old graduating with an RN degree - lazy and stupid - who would've thought it? The person you're talking about with the vitals? This person was fine, didn't want her vitals taken, and was ready to go home. Regardless of what nursing duties I was "ordered" to do by an IT person, I'd NEVER go against a patient's wishes (nor does a non-medical employee have the right to order medical care). Maybe you're not too familiar with ethical responsibilities. You are a fucking moron. If you knew anything about me (although I'm sure you think you do based on your false info), you'd know that I worked there for almost TWO YEARS before this shit went down, so I couldn't possibly have written that since the above post claims to be written by someone that worked there for only six months. Working there for that amount of time, don't you think it would be impossible for me not to know how to spell PELLMANN and JACQUELYNN?!? Please. I find it amusing that Pellmann is so self-absorbed and almighty that he thinks I'm sitting behind a computer screen, hitting the refresh button waiting for the latest news on him. whatajoke. My life is SO much better than that. All I know is the two of you need to keep MY NAME out of your fucking mouths, because you have no right or reason to have it there. I refuse to take any part of this anymore. Grow the fuck up. I don't give a shit what happens to Pellmann. It doesn't affect me anymore and contrary to delusional belief, I'm not cowering over my computer dwelling on the bullshit that he caused. LEAVE ME ALONE. I'm serious. Do not post slanderous comments about someone you've never met. KEEP MY NAME OFF YOUR BLOG. fair warning.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ok, so let's get this story straight here. This IS Melissa M. It came to my attention last night that there's this blog proclaiming Pellmann's "innocence" and that my name is in a response from him. Funny how I could have posted comments on a blog I didn't know existed. I must be some sort of God-created miracle to pull that off. I'm so sorry that you've been SO manipulated to believe what you do; I guess I'm not surprised though. If you knew anything, you'd know that after I told the truth to the DEA, I was stripped of my duties as an RN in retaliation and forced to scrub floors and clean rooms. I still have the papers to prove it. Lazy and stupid? Yes, a 20 year old graduating with an RN degree - lazy and stupid - who would've thought it. The person you're talking about with the vitals? This person was fine, didn't want her vitals taken, and was ready to go home. Regardless of what nursing duties I was "ordered" to do by an IT person, I'd NEVER go against a patient's wishes (nor does a non-medical employee have the right to order medical care). Maybe you're not too familiar with ethical responsibilities. You are a fucking moron. If you knew anything about me (although I'm sure you think you do based on your false info), you'd know that I worked there for almost TWO YEARS before this shit went down, so I couldn't possibly have written that since the above post claims to be written by someone that worked there for six months. Working there for that amount of time, don't you think it would be impossible for me not to know how to spell PELLMANN and JACQUELYNN?!? Please. I find it amusing that Pellmann is so self-absorbed and almighty that he thinks I'm sitting behind a computer screen, hitting the refresh button waiting for the latest news on him. whatajoke. My life is SO much better than that. All I know is the two of you need to keep MY NAME out of your fucking mouths, because you have no right or reason to have it there. I refuse to take any part of this anymore. Grow the fuck up. I don't give a shit what happens to Pellmann. It doesn't affect me anymore and contrary to delusional belief, I'm not cowering over my computer dwelling on the bullshit that he caused. LEAVE ME ALONE. Do not post slanderous comments about someone you've never met. I'm serious. KEEP MY NAME OFF YOUR BLOG. fair warning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may not know this, but we are connected by this mess!!! You know the TRUTH AND SO DO I!!!!! YOU ARE RIGHT!!! P.S. SISSY GOD FATHER'S FRIEND.....

      Delete
  15. Now that's some BAD math above. 4 fentanyl patches! HA!

    Max dose fentanyl patch = 100mcg/hr x 72 hours = 7200mcg over 3 days...

    If there are 14,000 vials of fentayl missing at 100mg/2mL, then 1,400,000 mcg of fentanyl were injected into someone and that is the equivalent of 194.4 fentanyl patches which should last 3 days each or about 1.5 years. I know that's pretty close to the "4" patches mentioned above, but, hey, why fact check when you can post anything you want as truth?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Here you go naughty lawyer:

    http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/actions/2011/fr0330_4.htm

    Maybe next you won't be so quick to believe stories told by master manipulators/compulsive liars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow.

      I read about this helping one of my kids research a school project.

      I was stunned at first; then the conviction and imprisonment brought a smile to my face...Roger you finally caught up with yourself and got what you deserved.

      You are a liar and a con man with a large appetite for other men's fiances and wives.

      The guy who started this blog is clueless about you and your multiple malpractice lawsuits or the many suits against you for your less than honest business practices.

      The again there are your divorces and the restraining order taken out against you by a child.

      What about the long list of women you used and the hurt you caused to them and their families.

      These are not signs of the saintly doctor - a role you love to play.

      Perhaps poetic justice will be served while you are locked up and some dude named Bubba will decide you have a nice ass and use you as a sperm receptacle; be kind of nice for you to experience abuse and what its like on the receiving end.

      The statue of limitations will not have yet expired when you are released. Perhaps we can meet again in the DA's office when you get out.

      Sweet Dreams "Dear Friend"

      Delete
  17. I feel sorry for that manipulative Jacquelynn's fiance who was too good for her anyway, and her daughter thinks her mom is a saint.... far from it, she was Hoe'ing around trying to get rich in the 90's where she thought she struck it rich with her baby daddy....lol what a loser & she really needs to remove the wig too! ;0

    ReplyDelete
  18. This exDr can rot in hell, he never finished my procedure even though he got over paid, then his hooker/junky office manager was offended,when I was pissed?!?!? They knowingly did my procedure when he knew he was going to prison--so now I hope he gets his, and I pray he's not in a country club prison.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I knew Dr. Pellmann when I helped take care of his kids many years ago. Thanks for the post explaining what had happened to him. I had lost touch a few years back and stumbled on the news articles online. My only hope now is that his family is coping and finding ways to continue with some ability to enjoy their days while he's absent. They and him are in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was a patient of Dr.Pellman on & off for several years for some vein issues in both legs. I found him to be completey professional, compassionate and extremely talented at his job. I feel very sorry that he screwed up his life,family, etc. but should have known better about all the drugs given out. I know he will never practice again, but I wish him the best.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I met dr. Pellman in buffalo yrs ago, he was an internal medicine resident. He was well respected by his peers and physicians.

    I'm in shock. Too bad he made such wrongful choices.. I feel sorry for his family.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dr. Pellmann is where he needs to be. I worked there for a period of time and knew something was going on, but couldn't prove anything. Unfortunately, it's his children that are suffering.

    I would certainly take what the person who wrote the original article with a grain of salt as he was on the bus and convicted of something also. Doesn't hold any credibility with me in that manner.

    The DEA doesn't go to trial with just wishes, there was proof as Dr. Pellmann was treating his nurse and not documenting the medication, anything. There was no chart for her. This treatment was not done correctly and legally and he got caught. Step up and be a man and accept the responsibility for your actions.

    Dr. Pellmann is not a stupid individual, he is a grown, well educated man so he knew what he was doing. He was not forced to do anything he didn't want to do. Get a grip people, you do illegal and bad things then you need to pay the price.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That's pretty impressive writing. A resourceful and useful information.
    Attorney Macon

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a looser!

    Didn't you promise that dead guy Hipocrates to do no harm?

    In case you haven't noticed, your life is a train wreck.

    You got to be a felon by finally believing all the crap you fed to others for years.

    Perhaps when you get out you can use your considerable talents to sell used cars?

    What a failure to date:

    2 divorces.

    How many fatherless children? Being the sperm donor is much different than feing Dad.

    A child abuse restraining order?

    2 malpractice lawsuits, how many docs practice for their entire life with none?

    7 or is it 8 law suits due to shady business practices?

    Maybe a review of this over the next few months will make a difference in your life; but I doubt it.

    I'll leave you with a final thought, if a son misses his father's funeral because of being in prison from following his dick - is that failing too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before calling another a loser, please learn how to spell loser first!

      Delete
  25. Following his dick...yes.
    Women knowing that and taking advantage of him...yes.
    Him letting them take advantage...yes.
    But a child abuser he is not.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Not guilty of child abuse as in never charged or convicted = TRUE

    However, how long will it be before your kids figure out you picked your penis over them?

    ReplyDelete
  27. The TRUTH IS NOT IN THE EVANS AND PELLMAN VOCABULARY!!!!!! WHEN A SO CALLED "DOCTOR " IS TURNED DOWN FOR HIS SEXUAL ADVANCES AND THEN MOVES ON TO THE NEXT BEST THING, WHO JUMPED ALL OVER IT FOR THE DRUGS AND THE STOLEN MONEY AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN STOLEN EQUIPMENT!!!!!!!!! WHATEVER FEELS GOOD TO YOUR CARNAL FLESH, THEN TRY TO BLAME AND CRUCIFY THE INNOCENT????? WOW WHAT CHRISTIANS !!!!!!!!!!! REMEMBER THERE WILL BE A DAY OF RECON ING! !!! P.S. THE FAMILY IS STILL ON DRUGS.....HYPOCRISY AT IT'S FINEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete