Two doctors, former pharmacy worker charged

Three charged with fraudulently obtaining controlled substances from Neosho hospital.

June 2004 Neosho Two doctors and a former hospital pharmacy employee have been charged in a series of drug thefts at a Neosho hospital pharmacy.

Newton County Prosecuting Attorney Scott said Dr. Jeffrey Wool, 43, Dr. William Bentz 38, and Neidra C. Depuy, 36, all of Neosho, are charged with one count each of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance. The charge is a class D felony that carries a punishment of up to four years in prison.

All three are former employees of the Freeman Neosho Hospital. They are scheduled to be arraigned at the Newton County Courthouse on June 28.

A statement from the hospital said officials last year started an investigation into a "pharmacy inventory discrepancy" discovered during a routine audit.

Wool and Depuy were fired in August of 2003. Bentz was fired in March 2004.

Watson said that during the audit in the summer of 2003, more than 5,000 pills of the painkiller hydrocodone were discovered missing at the hospital pharmacy.

Watson alleged that Wool wrote a prescription to Bentz that summer, although the "patient had no medical condition requiring the drug." He also alleged that Depuy, who worked in the pharmacy at Freeman Hospital, received a prescription written by Wool, and that Depuy had no medical condition requiring the use of the drug. Bentz also is accused of prescribing Vicoden, also a painkiller, to a patient who didn't need the drug, then asking that the drug be returned to him.

Watson said it appeared the three people charged were not distributing the drugs to anyone outside their circle.

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