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West Virginia physician already under fire now accused of illegally prescribing painkillers

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — A Martinsburg doctor already facing a disciplinary hearing by a state medical board has been indicted on federal charges that she illegally prescribed prescription painkillers, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

A grand jury in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg indicted Dr. Tressie Montene Duffy on 100 felony counts of aiding and abetting the distribution of four controlled substances from April 2010 to February 2012, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld said.

Duffy, 44, is CEO and owner West Virginia Weight and Wellness Inc. Office assistant Amanda Clark and AIT Laboratories employee Tracie Colbert, both of Martinsburg, were indicted on similar charges.

The indictment accuses Duffy of signing blank prescription orders, then allowing employees to issue 157 of them to 96 patients without being seen by a physician. The substances involved were oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, and methylphenidate, a drug used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine upon conviction.

Duffy's lawyer, Lisa Lilly, said she had no comment on the indictment Wednesday. It wasn't immediately known whether Clark and Colbert had attorneys.

Duffy faces a hearing Nov. 17-19 before the state Board of Medicine in Charleston over her medical license. The board accused her in a July complaint of violations of state law and unprofessional conduct. The board complaint said Duffy is unqualified to continue practicing medicine and surgery.

The board complaint accused Duffy of allowing her staff to prescribed controlled substance when she was not in the office, including while on vacation or at out-of-state conventions.

According to the complaint, Duffy also repeatedly exposed her breasts to staff and patients after undergoing augmentation surgery, verbally abused staff, kicked a chair in the direction of one employee and grabbed another employee by the back of her head and kissed her on the lips.

In October 2009, Duffy pleaded no contest to insurance fraud in Berkeley County Magistrate Court and was fined $500. In 2010, the board issued a consent order requiring Duffy to undergo psychological counseling for 18 months due to violations of state code related to professional conduct.

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