Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bucks County DA hopes new PSA gets out the word: Heroin kills

Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2015


Her name is Maggie. She is a heroin mom.
She talks about what that is like with the same ease that a soccer mom or band mom might. She has lived with the description for seven years, since her only child became addicted first to prescription painkillers, then heroin.
But Maggie doesn’t want your sympathy. She wants to warn you.
“Anybody, absolutely anybody, is at risk to become a drug addict,” Maggie tells viewers in one of two newly released public service announcements.
At age 21, her daughter went to the dentist with a toothache. The doctor gave her Percocet. Two weeks later, she was in the emergency room with a kidney infection. The doctor gave her more Percocet.
Recently, her 28-year-old daughter finished her seventh stint in rehab. Maggie is hopeful she will stay clean this time — hopeful, but not confident.
Last summer her daughter entered rehab for a sixth time while Maggie, a Delaware County resident, was filming public service announcements as part of “Heroin Kills,” a Bucks County district attorney initiative started last year.
On Thursday, the videos — one roughly 1 minute, the other 10 minutes — debuted at Bucks County Technical High School in Bristol Township before an audience of about 100 teens. Tech school students and teachers helped film and edit the PSAs, which will be distributed locally.
TV production veteran and Bensalem resident Frank Goldstein produced the “Heroin Kills” videos. There is additional film footage and video projects undergoing the editing process for future release, he said.
The PSAs are considered a significant public education addition to ongoing initiatives the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced last March to address a recent increase in heroin distribution, overdoses and deaths in the county and elsewhere.The efforts include more-aggressive pursuit of heroin dealers and distributors and the creation of an anonymous drug tip line.
Like elsewhere in Pennsylvania and the United States, heroin abuse has become epidemic in Bucks County.
Last year, heroin was the primary drug of use for half of all addicts in the county seeking government assistance for rehab, according to county statistics. Until recently, alcohol had that distinction. The number of heroin addicts seeking help in Bucks was up nearly 5 percent in 2014.
Decades ago, heroin was the one drug you didn’t touch, District Attorney David Heckler told the audience Thursday. But synthetic opiate prescription pain medications, which are virtually identical to natural heroin, were a game changer.
Drug abuse experts believe the spike in heroin addiction over the last decade is directly related to the availability of prescription painkillers. When they can no longer afford the painkillers, addicts turn to heroin as a cheaper way to achieve a high or prevent painful withdrawal symptoms.
“Once you get hooked, you get the high, after a few times you are chasing the high,” Heckler said.
After Maggie’s story was shown Thursday, the teen audience was encouraged to spread the word about the video posted on YouTube. Since it was posted last week on the online video sharing site, it has generated more than 2,000 views. Goldstein wants it to go viral.
“If you save one life, you save the world,” Goldstein said.
Bucks County Chief of Prosecution Matt Weintraub is the one who brought Maggie into the video project after hearing her speak at an educational outreach session in Warminster, where he was also appearing to talk about heroin.
Maggie started telling her story after her employer, PECO Energy, started a community outreach education program. She suggested educating parents about drug addiction should be a priority and volunteered to share her story.
On Thursday, Weintraub said the best way to attack the heroin scourge is by taking the message directly to children and teens.
Goldstein and the district attorney are working toward getting regional TV stations and cable companies to air the shorter video as part of its regular PSA rotation. The videos will also be distributed to local cable access channels used by government and school entities as well as schools and other community and youth organizations.
“Heroin is very real. It’s out there,” Weintraub said. “It’s poison. It consumes you from the inside out.”
Not just the addict, either. Heroin consumes everything around it, as Maggie explained in the black-and-white videos about her family’s life since heroin became part of it.
Afterward, she admitted holding back on some of the more graphic details, but not by much.
She talked about her daughter’s rapidly declining health: the abscess infections on her arms and thighs as a result of repeat injecting, collapsed veins, and how even her voice has changed from baby soft to a loose gravel rasp.
Maggie left out of the video the part about venereal diseases. It’s a hard truth that female heroin addicts — yes, including her daughter — sell their bodies in exchange for the drug or money to buy it.
In the extended video, she ticked off all the things she said her daughter has stolen: thousands of dollars, pennies, wedding bands, Maggie’s dead sister’s pearl necklace, GPS units, EZ-Passes, a computer, an iPad, gaming systems, silver and gold wire from her father’s workshop that he uses for his job, and her son’s fundraising box of candy.
Once, she returned all the groceries that Maggie just bought to the supermarket and used the refund to buy drugs, Maggie said.
Her credit was ruined because of her daughter, who wrote bad checks on her bank account resulting in legal problems for Maggie. At age 47, Maggie has full custody of her three grandchildren, ages 6, 7 and 10, who were recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For her daughter, it might be too late, Maggie worries. But it’s not too late for others.
When their daughter was younger, Maggie and her husband didn’t talk to her about drugs beyond the typical don’t do them speech. She and her husband never used illegal drugs. They led by example, and thought it was enough, she said.
But the children of parents who regularly talk to their kids about drugs are 42 percent less likely to use drugs, a statistic Maggie uses in the video. She followed that statistic with this one: Only 25 percent of kids report having these conversations with their parents.
Today, Maggie said she talks to her grandchildren — and her daughter — about drugs every day. But she and her husband still don’t understand why their daughter can’t kick heroin for good.
“I can’t even give you a reason why she still uses,” Maggie said.

AG order seeks to freeze four properties in Risoldi fraud case

Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2015
“Horrible” is how Claire Risoldi described the 3,500-square-foot rental home she moved to after a 2013 fire damaged her family’s mansion, according to her complaint to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
Yet three months after she complained, Risoldi allegedly wrote a $300,000 check toward the purchase of the same four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath Colonial. That check was drawn from an account containing insurance proceeds designated to cover temporary living expenses as a result of the fire.
Such details are documented as part of a Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office petition to prevent her and members of the prominent family who are accused in a massive insurance fraud from selling or transferring four Buckingham properties, including three allegedly bought through third parties.
The three "third-party" properties are on Danielle Drive, and the Risoldi family's mansion is on Stony Hill Road and called Clairemont  — the centerpiece of what authorities say is a $20 million insurance fraud.
The state has already seized $7 million in family assets related to its criminal investigation, including $3 million from bank accounts and $1.2 million in jewelry.
Claire Risoldi, 67, her son, Carl, 43, daughter, Carla, 48, Carl’s wife, Sheila, 43, and family associates Marc Goldman, 54, and Richard Holston, 51, are accused of more than a dozen felonies, including corrupt organizations, filing false insurance claims, and theft by deception related to three fires at Clairemont in 2009, 2010 and 2013. 
Thomas French, 64, Risoldi’s second husband, was among the accused, but he took his own life on Feb. 5.
Described as a temporary restraining order in the court docket, the attorney general's petition seeks to preserve the four properties because they would be assets subjected to "criminal restitution" should the Risoldi defendants be convicted of fraud. The family, however, could have the properties released to them if they execute a $15 million performance bond, according to the petition. A hearing on the state's request is scheduled for next month in Bucks County Court.
The newspaper was unsuccessful Friday in reaching attorney Judson Aaron, who is listed in the court filing as representing Claire Risoldi. Attorney Jake Griffin, who is representing Karl Morris, the owner of record for two of the Danielle Drive properties, declined comment.
In its Jan. 26 petition, the Attorney General's Office contends the property freeze is necessary because the family has allegedly hidden assets because of the state's criminal investigation. The state cites the family’s ability to post their bails in cash, and alleges the Risoldis started hiding vehicles and other “movable assets” since learning they were under investigation for insurance fraud.
Investigators traced the alleged trail of fraud using checks written by family members and drawn from a TD Bank account to which insurer AIG had deposited payouts related to the October 2013 fire, as well as ancillary TD Bank accounts belonging to the family, the agency said in its petition. The TD Bank account was in the names of Claire, Carl and Carla Risoldi; Carl and Carla jointly own Clairemont and the AIG insurance policy for the home was held in the names of Carl and Sheila Risoldi, investigators said.
The insurance money was supposed to be spent on temporary living expenses, such as rent, replacing items lost or damaged in the fire and repairs to Clairemont. But the attorney general has accused the family of misusing more than $1 million of the insurance money to buy the homes on Danielle Drive last year.
Claire Risoldi and her late husband lived in one of the homes on Danielle Drive; Carl Risoldi and his family live in another. And AIG has paid the $13,000 monthly rent on each of the homes, according to court records.
But bank records show that Claire Risoldi wrote at least one check drawn on the TD Bank account where the insurance funds were deposited to purchase the Danielle Drive home she was renting from family friend and Doylestown attorney Tina Mazaheri, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Mazaheri is not charged with wrongdoing.
The state’s restraining order petition alleges that in March, Claire Risoldi wrote a check for $105,000 to Mazaheri on the same day that Mazaheri signed a deed transferring her interest in the property to Karl Morris — the home's current owner of record. Mazaheri subsequently took back the mortgage from Morris, the petition said.
But the AG's office alleges the mortgage was guaranteed by a separate and unrecorded document executed between Claire Risoldi and Mazaheri for $400,000, according to the petition, which the attorney general says is evidence that Risoldi — not Morris — is the buyer.
Morris, too, is not charged with wrongdoing.
Danielle Drive home of Claire Risoldi
Days after the mortgage documents between Mazaheri and Morris were executed, the attorney general alleges, Claire Risoldi provided AIG with a 36-month lease agreement in which she purported to rent the property from Morris for $13,000 a month. The Morris lease was backdated to November 2013, but state investigators discovered Risoldi wrote Mazaheri a check in November 2013 — drawn on the AIG/TD bank account — for $4,000 to cover the monthly rent.
Mazaheri testified before a state grand jury that she charged Risoldi $4,000 a month in rent for the home, before Risoldi orchestrated its purchase, according to court documents.
In July, three months after filing her complaint with the state Insurance Department about the “horrible” rental, Claire Risoldi wrote a $300,000 check drawn on the same AIG/TD Bank account toward the purchase of the same Danielle Drive house, court records show. Mazaheri told investigators that Risoldi still owes her $100,000 for the sale, according to the grand jury’s report.
That same month, the Attorney General’s Office alleges, Claire Risoldi purchased another property in the 4800 block of Danielle Drive — where Carl Risoldi and his family now live — using Morris again as a straw buyer. The petition alleges that the $586,349 purchase was made using a TD Bank check drawn on another account, and witnesses testified that the Risoldis provided Morris the money.
The third Danielle Drive property — also in the 4800 block — was purchased for $558,890 by Gemini Capital Limited Group LLC and a deed transferred to the property in September, according to the petition. A review of settlement documents involving the transaction show the property was purchased using a TD Bank check drawn on another account and it contained the reference “Re: Carl A. Risoldi,” the state's petition said.
“Additionally, it is evident that Carl Risoldi executed all documents on behalf of Gemini Capital Limited Group LLC and witnesses and agents have observed that the defendants maintain exclusive possession and control over this property,” according to the petition.
Danielle Drive home of Carl & Shelia Risoldi
The AG's office believes the suspected home purchases on Danielle Drive are significant to their request for a property freeze because they illustrate a "history of fraudulent transfers and is indicative of the defendant's continued ability to secrete assets," according to the restraining order petition.
If the court grants the property freeze, it would not affect other family owned real estate holdings, including three law offices and a Solebury home owned by Carla Risoldi or a Falls home that is jointly owned by Carl Risoldi and French. The petition also states that the Risoldis can continue to live in the Danielle Drive homes.
The Risoldis are considered among the most prominent in Bucks County social and political circles.
Claire Risoldi is well known among the county’s Republican Party for her fundraising and lavish parties for GOP politicians and other causes she supports. Carla Risoldi is a criminal defense attorney and former Bucks County prosecutor. Carl Risoldi worked as a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission from 2005 until Jan. 23, when he was suspended without his $74,000 a year pay or benefits. French, who married Claire Risoldi in 2013, was a retired Bucks County sheriff deputy lieutenant.

Langhorne man held for trial in stabbing death of his uncle

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
After a stun-gun prong was removed from his abdomen, murder suspect Kyle Simpson was asked if he had any other injuries.
“No,” Simpson replied, looking at his hands, “this blood is from the guy I stabbed.”
Pennsylvania State Trooper Craig Acord recounted the conversation during a preliminary hearing Wednesday for the 24-year-old Langhorne man accused in the New Year’s Eve fatal stabbing of his uncle. It was the first, and only, murder in Bucks County so far this year.
Kyle Simpson
The victim, Stanley Taylor Jr., 58, was the brother of Langhorne Mayor Joseph Taylor.
Authorities allege that Simpson stabbed Taylor shortly after 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve at a home in the 100 block of North Bellevue Avenue where he lived with his sister, Taylor and Taylor’s wife.
Court documents allege that Simpson’s sister told police her brother was intoxicated when he went into his bedroom upset and picked up a knife. The noise woke up Stanley Taylor Jr., who went to his nephew’s bedroom to talk him into putting down the knife, police said.
Simpson refused and attempted to leave the room, when Taylor tried to stop him, court documents note.
The two argued and Simpson allegedly stabbed Taylor once in the abdomen before walking away. Police found the wounded Taylor at the top of the stairs.
Taylor was taken to St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown, underwent surgery for his wound, but was pronounced dead shortly before 8 a.m. Jan. 1.
On the witness stand, Acord testified that when he entered the home the night of the stabbing he found Simpson at a kitchen table holding something against his neck. The trooper said he later learned it was a large hunting knife.
Kyle Simpson
The trooper said he tried to convince Simpson to drop the knife, but he refused. A Middletown police officer then used a stun gun twice to subdue Simpson and take him into custody, Acord said.
Acord also testified that Simpson told him that he didn’t mean to stab Stanley Taylor but instead wanted to stab James Simpson. Court documents do not identify the relationship between Kyle Simpson and James Simpson.
On cross-examination, Acord acknowledged that he smelled alcohol on Simpson the night of the stabbing.
Following the trooper’s testimony, District Judge Daniel Baranoski held Simpson for trial on charges of criminal homicide and possession of an instrument of crime. He remains incarcerated in Bucks County prison without bail.

Bristol inspector: Pine Street building does not need to be razed

Posted: Friday, February 6, 2015
A nearly 100-year-old Bristol row home where a wall partially collapsed Monday will not need to be demolished.

A safety inspection report found that the end unit in the 800 block of Pine Street is structurally sound and the damaged wall can be repaired, borough Inspector John Miller said Friday. Repair work is expected to begin next week, Miller said.
The work will involve bracing the building in its current state, removing the damaged portion of the wall, and repairing and replacing it with a new wall, Miller said.
Once the work is completed and inspected, the property owner should be allowed to return to the home, Miller said. The homeowner’s insurance company will pay for the work, he added.
A portion of Pine and Spring streets near where the collapse happened will remain blocked to vehicle and pedestrian traffic until the wall is braced, Miller said.
Authorities are continuing their investigation into what caused the wall collapse and do not have an answer yet, Miller added. The newspaper was not immediately successful in reaching the property owner, William Brown.
The borough condemned the circa-1917 end unit last year after concerns arose about a possible structural problem with the wall that collapsed, Miller said. No one was allowed to live in the home until the owner submitted a structural engineering report, which didn’t happen, Miller added.
The problem — an outside wall that appeared to be bowing — didn’t require immediate attention when the condemnation order was made, Miller said. Borough inspectors checked the condition of the home on a weekly basis and no significant change was noted until Jan. 30.
The bend in the wall was significantly more pronounced than it was on the previous check so, as a precaution, a portion of Pine Street near the wall was barricaded and a safety inspection was scheduled for Tuesday, Miller said.
But shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday, a large section of the second-floor wall collapsed. No injuries were reported but at least five attached homes on Pine Street were evacuated after bricks and other debris landed on a gas meter below the collapsed wall.
The partial building collapse was the second in Bristol in three months.
A 58-year-old Newtown man was seriously injured in November after an overhanging bay on a historic 19th-century Radcliffe Street building he was renovating collapsed, causing him to plunge two stories to the sidewalk where he was buried under debris.

Bristol condemned home last year where wall collapsed

Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Bristol officials expect to know later this week if a nearly 100-year-old row home where a partial wall collapse occurred Monday night needs to be demolished.
The borough condemned the circa-1917 end unit in the 800 block of Pine Street last year after the owner expressed concern about a structural problem with the wall that collapsed, borough Inspector John Miller said Tuesday. No one was allowed to live in the home until the owner submitted a structural engineering report, Miller added.
The problem — an outside wall that appeared to be bowing — didn’t require immediate attention or demolition, Miller said. Borough inspectors checked the condition of the home on a weekly basis and no significant change was noted until this week, he added.
When Miller drove by the home Monday he noticed the bow in the wall was significantly more pronounced than it was Friday, which he attributed to recent ice and snow storms. As a precaution, a portion of Pine Street near the wall was barricaded Monday and a safety inspection scheduled for Tuesday, Miller said.
But shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday, a large section of the second-floor wall collapsed. No injuries were reported but at least five attached homes on Pine Street were evacuated after bricks and other debris landed on a gas meter below the collapsed wall.
The borough’s structural engineer conducted a safety inspection of the property Tuesday morning and officials are awaiting the results before making further decisions about the property, Miller said.
With a danger of further collapse, 200 feet of Pine Street and Spring Street will be closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, Miller said. There is no known structural danger with the attached houses, Miller added.
The partial building collapse was the second in Bristol in three months.
A 58-year-old Newtown man was seriously injured in November after an overhanging bay on a historic 19th-century Radcliffe Street building he was renovating collapsed, causing him to plunge two stories to the sidewalk where he was buried under debris.
A borough investigation said the partial collapse was caused by a mistake during removal of the building’s roof rafters.

Investigation underway into partial wall collapse in Bristol

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015
A large section of a second-floor wall collapsed at a nearly 100-year-old row house Monday night in Bristol, hours after the borough scheduled a safety inspection, according to a Bristol fire official.
Fire Chief Herb Slack did not know the circumstances of what led to the inspection, which was scheduled to take place Tuesday.
Prior to the collapse, part of Pine Street near the home was blocked to pedestrians earlier Monday as a precaution.
No injuries were reported, but residents of at least five homes along the 800 block of Pine Street were temporarily evacuated when the collapse happened around 4:30 p.m. Bricks and other debris landed on a gas meter below resulting in a leak, Slack said.
The home where the incident occurred — an end unit — was built in 1917, according to county property records.
The cause of the collapse was not immediately known and an investigation will take place, Slack said. He added that the remaining section of the wall is bowed and there is a danger of additional collapse.
PECO Energy crews cut off power to the home and secured the gas main. By 8 p.m., neighbors were allowed to return to their homes, but the home where the collapse occurred is uninhabitable, Slack said.
With a danger of further collapse, Pine Street at Spring Street will remain closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic at least overnight with fire police securing the area, Slack said.
The partial building collapse was the second in Bristol in three months.
A 58-year-old Newtown man was seriously injured in November after the overhanging bay on a historic 19th-century Radcliffe Street building he was renovating collapsed, causing him to plunge two stories to the sidewalk where he was buried under debris.
A borough investigation found a mistake during removal of the building’s roof rafters led to the partial collapse.

Bensalem teen held for trial in school bus stop death

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2015
The morning that he allegedly struck and killed a 16-year-old girl, Michael Shelly wasn’t driving his usual Pontiac Grand Prix. The car’s transmission wasn’t working, so he took a 1984 Ford Bronco that he rarely drove because he knew it was in bad condition, a Bensalem detective testified Thursday.
Michael Shelly (left) and Lou Busico 
The 18-year-old Bensalem man admitted that the heater and window defrosters hadn’t worked for the 18 months he owned the SUV, according to Detective John Monaghan, who appeared at a preliminary hearing for Shelly, who is charged with the Dec. 17 death of Minete Zeka.
Bensalem police blame Shelly’s failure to fully clear condensation from his front windshield and rear windows before getting behind the wheel as a contributing factor in the fatal accident. Police allege that Shelly knew the SUV was unsafe to drive but Shelly’s defense attorney says the accident was a tragic mistake.
Bensalem school bus driver Thomas Kuehn testified that he was driving east on Bensalem Boulevard when he put his yellow warning lights on 200 feet prior to the bus stop at Bridgewater Road and Bensalem Boulevard, where he would pick up five students.
Kuehn recalled seeing headlights in the opposite direction on Bensalem Boulevard about 100 yards away when he switched on his red flashing lights. Police allege those headlights belonged to the Bronco.
Minete, a Bensalem High School sophomore, was crossing the road behind another student when she was struck. She later died of blunt force trauma related to injuries as a result. The four other students were not injured.
Shelly stopped after hitting Minete. Bensalem police Officer Jenifer Pettine testified that when she arrived at the scene she found him sitting on a curb near the accident with his head in his hands, visibly, extremely upset.
Michael Shelly
“I think I killed her,” Pettine testified she heard Shelly say.
Shelly said that he was driving to Bucks County Technical High School in Bristol Township and, as he entered the intersection, saw the yellow lights on the school bus had turned red and heard a loud bang, Pettine recalled.
A subsequent police investigation determined that the school bus was stopped with its red warning lights flashing and side STOP arm and yellow crossing arms extended, according to court documents.
Police also allege that condensation on the Bronco’s windows had built up to the point of obstructing the driver’s view. Shelly reportedly told police he was using a T-shirt to clear a small portion of the window to see.
Monaghan testified that Shelly, who is studying automotive technology, claimed he saw the yellow warning lights, but didn’t notice the red lights until he saw someone cross the street in front of his SUV. Shelly told him that he didn’t see Minete until after he struck her, the detective added.
Bensalem Detective Brian Oliverio testified that when he participated in the inspection of the SUV, which is registered to Shelly’s father, a couple of days after the accident, he found multiple violations beyond the broken defroster system.
The rear taillights were painted black, the rearview mirror was missing, the horn didn’t work and there was no exhaust system, Oliverio said. The license plate also was registered to another car, the Grand Prix.
Oliverio also testified that he believed the inspection and emission stickers on the Bronco were counterfeit.
But on cross examination, Oliverio acknowledged that when he test-drove the car he found no problems with its steering, suspension, brakes, tires or headlights. An accident reconstruction also determined that the Bronco was not speeding at the time of the accident.
Following testimony from five witnesses, District Judge Leonard Brown held Shelly for trial on all charges, including homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and other offenses. He is free after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bail.
After the hearing, Shelly’s defense attorney, Louis Busico, called the case an all-around tragedy.
“This is a really sad case for everybody concerned,” Busico said. “There was no ill will, no bad intent on behalf of Mr. Shelly that morning. He was simply an 18-year-old man going to school.”

Megan's Lawbreakers: A two day, award winning series looking at Pennsylvania Megan's Law enforcement

Megan's Lawbreakers

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Bucks County doctor charged with running pill mill

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 
A Bucks County doctor who operated pain management practices and spearheaded a failed effort to buy Lower Bucks Hospital has been charged with running a prescription “pill mill” out of his medical offices in Philadelphia and Bristol Township.
Dr. William J. O'Brien III
Dr. William J. O’Brien III, 49, of Philadelphia, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and 26 counts of illegally distributing drugs outside the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose. The drugs included oxycodone, a powerful painkiller, and Xanax, which is used to treat anxiety, according to U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
His receptionist at two offices — Angela Rongione, 29, also of Philadelphia — was also charged Thursday with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Authorities allege that between January and December 2014, O’Brien’s so-called “patients” could obtain prescriptions for addictive narcotics without a physical exam or other medical care or treatment for a fee, and that O’Brien then falsified “medical” records to make it look as though the patients were examined.
The prescriptions were allegedly sold out of his medical offices in the 9800 block of Bustleton Avenue and 40 block of Rolling Lane in Bristol Township.
O’Brien, who is licensed in Pennsylvania as a doctor of osteopathic medicine, typically charged customers $250 for the first appointment to buy prescriptions and $200 for an appointment to obtain refills, the indictment stated. On one occasion, in October, he allegedly offered to trade a prescription for a sex act.
Patients paid cash, which O’Brien and Rongione referred to as the customer’s “co-pay,” the indictment said. To avoid detection by law enforcement, O’Brien told customers to fill prescriptions at pharmacies located “at a distance” from his offices, the indictment alleges.
Over the monthslong investigation, two undercover FBI agents allegedly purchased prescriptions for narcotics from O’Brien. One agent purchased scripts for 6,200 tablets, while another obtained scripts for 1,020 tablets, according to the indictment.
Rongione specifically is accused of assisting O’Brien with screening customers, scheduling appointments, collecting cash and keeping records of the prescriptions O’Brien sold, the indictment said.
If convicted, O’Brien faces 20 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, five years for each distribution count and “substantial fines and criminal forfeiture,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Rongione faces 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge.
Until nearly four years ago, O’Brien was well known in the Lower Bucks medical community for operating a network of medical and pain management practices in Bucks, Philadelphia and Lehigh counties as well as other medical business ventures.
In 2009, he headed the creation of Doctors’ Hospital of Bucks County LLC, a group of about 80 local doctors who attempted to buy the then-financially troubled Lower Bucks Hospital before it declared bankruptcy. O’Brien’s hyperbaric oxygen business — Hyper-Ox Inc. — had operated out of the Bristol Township hospital between 2007 and 2010.
O’Brien’s corporation, WJO Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. The company included O’Brien’s medical practices, Hyper-Ox and East Coast TMR, a work injury-related pain management practice. At the time, both its assets and liabilities were between $10 and $50 million, according to the court filing.
After the bankruptcy filing, the hyperbaric oxygen practice came under federal scrutiny.
In 2011, the FBI seized records and materials related to the business during a raid at four of his then-seven medical offices in Bucks and Philadelphia. Also seized was O’Brien’s self-invented and patented multiperson hyperbaric oxygen chamber.
The search warrants included only records and items connected to Hyper-Ox, not O’Brien’s medical or physical therapy practices, according to O’Brien. Federal officials have never publicly commented on the Hyper-Ox investigation.
O’Brien said he suspected the government had questions about the safety of his 10-person hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which was moved to an undisclosed location in Fort Dix, New Jersey, according to documents related to his 2011 bankruptcy filing.
The bankruptcy documents also suggest that O’Brien believed an “unhappy” former employee may have instigated the FBI probe into the hyperbaric oxygen business, which he was counting on to revive his string of medical practices. He planned to use the therapy to treat workers’ compensation back injury and concussion patients.

Wrightstown dad says he feared son would kill him and grandmother

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015
After saying he wanted to die and stabbing himself in the chest, a 24-year-old Wrightstown man with a history of drug use bludgeoned his father with a padlock concealed in a sock, then attacked his 95-year-old grandmother when she intervened, according to court documents.
Jared Rose would have killed him and his grandmother if police hadn’t arrived to subdue him, 57-year-old Marc Rose told police. Subduing the younger Rose required eight police officers and a stun gun, Newtown Township police said.
Jared Rose was arraigned at bedside Sunday at St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown. He’s being treated for injuries that authorities said he received in the Thursday attack, including a partially amputated finger and a self-inflicted puncture wound to the chest.
He’s charged with two counts of attempted murder, four counts of aggravated assault and related charges in the attack on his dad and grandmother, Lorraine Patterson. He was denied bail and will be incarcerated after he is medically cleared, Newtown Township Detective Cpl. Jason Harris said.
Marc Rose and Patterson remain hospitalized at St. Mary with multiple injuries, including head trauma. Marc Rose also was stabbed in the face with a broken golf club. Patterson remains in the intensive care unit with injuries including a brain bleed, police said.
Newtown Township police, who cover Wrightstown, responded to the home in the 50 block of Lark Lane after receiving a disconnected 911 call. They said they found Jared Rose on top of his father, repeatedly striking him in the head.
After subduing Jared Rose, police saw Patterson walking toward them from the garage area, according to the probable cause affidavit. They said she was bleeding profusely from the head and face, missing teeth and appeared to have a fractured jaw, which the hospital later confirmed. Patterson told police her “grandson Jared” had attacked her, according to the probable cause affidavit.
During the investigation, police said they found blood, blood trails and bloody footprints inside and outside the house.
The attack began, Marc Rose told police, as he was working in his home office. He said his son walked into the room and stabbed himself with a Swiss Army knife while saying he wanted to die, the affidavit said. Marc Rose said he called 911 on his cellphone and blurted “Lark Lane” before Jared smashed the phone and attacked him.
“He (Marc Rose) doesn’t remember how many times he was hit, but clearly stated he knows Jared was going to kill him,” the affidavit said.
When police interviewed Marc Rose in the hospital, he said his son has had “several bouts” with drugs and he had noticed behavioral changes in the past week.
When Patterson tried to intervene, her grandson started hitting her with the weighted sock, police said. Marc Rose said he carried her to the front porch to get her away from his son, police said. But Jared Rose followed and continued the attack outside where he was stabbed with the broken golf club, Marc Rose told authorities.
“At this point, (Marc Rose) remembered thinking, I hope help is coming because my son is going to kill me,” the affidavit said.