Bettendorf doctor facing prison time and fines for illegal online prescriptions

Paul Bolger, photo courtesy LinkedIn

DAVENPORT — A Bettendorf doctor who previously paid a $10,000 fine for prescribing  pain medication online to unfamiliar patients, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday, Aug. 22 to multiple counts of giving false statements to investigators and the introduction of misbranded drugs.

According to court records, Dr. Paul M. Bolger, 45, “knowingly and willfully made false statements by signing multiple prescription forms authorizing prescription drugs and indicating prescriptions were medically necessary.”

Evidence from the investigation revealed that Bolger prescribed medication based solely on an internet request without establishing a relationship with the patient or reviewing medical history. Court records reveal Bolger signed each of the prescription forms without talking to patients, conducting  physical exams, or reviewing medical records. These signed prescription forms were then faxed to DCRX, a Florida pharmacy; or Haoeyou, a California pharmacy; the pharmacies filled the prescriptions, mailed them to the patients, and billed Tricare, a federal health care benefit program providing medical care for U.S. military members and their dependents.

According to court records, Bolger authorized a total of 1,375 prescriptions for compounded medications between March and April of 2015, resulting in Tricare paying approximately $2.9 million. The evidence also showed that Bolger wrote prescriptions for patients in 16 states where he was not licensed to practice medicine.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the counts related to giving false statements and one year in prison and a fine of $100,000 for the misbranding charges.

The investigation into Bolger was conducted by the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Defense.