Dr. Tressie Montene Duffy, 46, a family practice physician in Martinsburg, WV was sentenced June 28, 2016 to a year and a day in jail along with an $18,200 penalty after pleading guilty to seven felonies for illegal distribution of oxycodone. The plea agreement also required Dr. Duffy to give up her West Virginia license and promise not to apply for a new license in any other state. It is understandable how, even though she is innocent of committing a crime involving the Controlled Substance Act, that she would take a plea of that degree because she was facing up to 20 years plus a fine of up to $1 million for each count of an original 2014 indictment with 100 counts. With the year and a day sentence she will get out in 10.5 months. If she had gone to trial and lost, that could have given her a life sentence.
According to the 2014 indictment, Dr. Duffy left signed, blank prescription forms for coworkers to issue narcotics — without her ever seeing a patient—during times that she was not in town. Now just because prescriptions were issued in her absence doesn’t mean someone else wrote the prescription. When I was going to be out of town, I always prepared the scripts for my patients beforehand, so the Nurse Practitioners could give them to the patient at their appointment. But in a trial, the government forces people to lie on the witness stand through threats, so I’m sure they would have someone in the office testify that the prescriptions were signed blank. Even though there was another doctor—her husband—working in Dr. Duffy’s clinic, because the government can’t force a spouse to testify it was a lab technician and office assistant that were labeled as “co-conspirators” in order to force them to testify to whatever the government wanted. It isn’t a surprise that people will commit perjury on the witness stand to receive immunity from false charges. It’s just a shame that juries don’t recognize that. In my case, when the other doctor testified, jury members said afterward, “Why wasn’t she charged?” That should be obvious. She testified falsely to protect her own skin.
In paving the way for the government’s plan to attack her, Dr. Duffy suffered the usual demonization through Board of Medicine reviews and censorship. All of that got published through the media. Her responses to the Board reviews were consent orders which state “I neither admit nor deny…”. In my opinion, they should be accepted as innocent of the charges, but in reality, a consent order is taken in the court as an admission of guilt. The lawyers for the doctor don’t tell you that, though, and you don’t realize it until you have a legal charge brought against you and part of the prosecutorial evidence are your consent orders. And in their usual manner to justify what they do, the BOM declared Dr. Duffy as “presenting a danger to the public.”
There was a lot of personal garbage written about Dr. Duffy in regard to her personal conduct relating to her breast augmentation. But trash like that is just meant to prejudice the jury. Also, in the usual manner of spreading government propaganda blaming doctors for the drug abuse epidemic, the media went into overdose death rates in West Virginia. Sensationalism is where the media is, not justice. They also try to make the doctor look bad by stating that the clinic did not take insurance. But for clinics in poor parts of the country, that is the humane thing to do. That is so that you can offer services to people in accord with their ability to pay, without creating charges of “insurance fraud”. Also, since doctors are becoming aware that insurance fraud is one ticket that the government is using to attack them, it is only smart to not let the government into your clinic through fraud charges. Every doctor in the country could be charged with fraud.
Dr. Cameron Duffy, Tressie Duffy’s husband, might be looking forward to future charges himself. Since each doctor attacked provides job security for DOJ officials and other law enforcement for 2 years, there is usually that amount of time passing before each doctor is charged. But in preparation for an attack on him, he has also been reprimanded by The West Virginia Board of Medicine and the Maryland Board of Physicians through consent orders in 2015. He still owns and operates West Virginia Weight and Wellness in Martinsburg and has also taken a part-time position as the Berkeley WV health officer. We’ll just have to wait and see.