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TRUMBULL COUNTY Jury convicts doctor of 86 of 106 charges



Published: Thu, May 12, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The chiropractor could get up to 10 years in prison.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A jury has found a local chiropractor guilty of 86 charges.

Jurors, however, acquitted Dr. Charles Theisler of 20 counts of drug trafficking.

He was convicted of 15 drug trafficking charges, 35 counts of illegal processing of drug documents, 35 counts of practicing medicine without a certificate and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Theisler, who remains free on bond, will be sentenced after a background check by the Trumbull County Adult Probation Department.

Theisler, 53, of Ruby Court, Austintown, could face up to 10 years in prison.

The jury returned the verdicts Wednesday in the courtroom of Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. The jurors began deliberations Friday.

Both Theisler and his attorney, John Jushasz, declined to comment.

"I'm very, very satisfied," said Chris Becker, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

Becker praised the work of George Pavlich of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, Andy Bodzak of the Canfield police and a member of the DEA Task Force and Tom Malone of the Mahoning County Drug Task Force.

"This was an open-and-shut case because of their work," Becker said.

Theisler and two co-defendants in the case, Dr. William E. Masters, 72, of Genesee Avenue Northeast, Warren, and Dr. Christopher J. Sherman, 53, of Old Wagon Lane, Howland, were indicted in March 2004.

All three had worked out of Pain Management Associates, 5000 E. Market St., Warren.

A variety of charges

All were indicted on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, trafficking in drugs, illegal processing of drug documents and practicing medicine without a certificate. Sherman also was indicted on two additional counts of aggravated possession of drugs.

Sherman pleaded guilty last month to two counts of aggravated possession of drugs. Masters' case is still pending.

The indictment alleges that Sherman and Masters permitted Theisler to issue presigned prescriptions to patients for schedule II and schedule III controlled substances.

Theisler is not authorized to prescribe the controlled substances, Becker has said.

Becker has noted that from July 2001 to Jan. 26, 2004, Masters billed patients $1.2 million, even though those patients were actually seen by Theisler.

Likewise, Sherman billed patients $18,000 during the same time frame for patients seen by Theisler, prosecutors said.

Some of the prescriptions were for OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription painkiller, prosecutors said.

The indictments were the result of a three-month investigation conducted by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, Trumbull County Sheriff's Department and the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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