Physician arrested for first degree murder in prescription diversion case
Two doctors arrested in conjunction with the investigation
For Immediate Release
July 12, 2013
West Palm Beach - Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Miami Regional Operations Center, with assistance from West Palm Beach Police Department, arrested Dr. John Christensen and Dr. Stewart Fox following an investigation into three medical offices owned and operated by Dr. Christensen. The offices are located in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Daytona Beach, Fla. The arrests were made July 11 around 8 p.m.
Christensen is charged with two counts of 1st degree murder following the overdose death of two patients to whom he allegedly prescribed Oxycodone, Methadone and Alprazolam without medical necessity. He is also charged with conspiracy to traffic Oxycodone and unlawful delivery of Methadone.
FDLE agents arrested Fox for conspiracy to traffic Oxycodone, trafficking Oxycodone, unlawful prescription of a controlled substance and unlawful delivery of Methadone. Investigators determined that Fox worked at the West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie offices.
FDLE, the Palm Beach County Multi Agency Diversion Task Force (MADTF) and the United States Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) have been investigating Christensen and Fox since January 2011 for diversion of prescription narcotics. The investigation shows that Christensen and Fox not only provided prescriptions without a medical need, but also fraudulently billed health insurance companies.
In August 2011, investigators from the FDLE and the MADTF executed search warrants at all of Christensen’s offices and his home, located at 2900 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, Fla. Related to this investigation, FDLE specifically reviewed 35 deaths of Christensen’s patients from several Florida counties.
Christensen and Fox were booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.
The investigation will be prosecuted by State Attorney Dave Aronberg Office of the State Attorney, 15th Judicial Circuit.
State Attorney Aronberg, who previously served as special prosecutor for prescription drug trafficking under Attorney General Pam Bondi, said, “We have the pill mills on the run. We will hold pill mill operators, including doctors, accountable for the damage they cause to victims and our community.”
“FDLE will continue to aggressively pursue those who unlawfully deal in pharmaceuticals,” said FDLE Miami Regional Operations Center Special Agent in Charge Addy Villanueva. “I thank our law enforcement partners, the Multi Agency Diversion Task Force, DCIS and West Palm Beach PD for their tremendous support in this case.”
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Linda McDonald or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information