December 13, 2007 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Prescriptions bring doctor indictment

The Spokesman-Review
 

A doctor known by some patients as the “candy man” was indicted Wednesday on allegations he wrote illegal prescriptions for painkillers for up to 80 people a day, contributing to five deaths.

Dr. Warren Stack was charged with 18 counts, including conspiracy, illegal distribution of a controlled substance, health care fraud and money laundering.

Stack’s office was raided May 16, after undercover officers found they could easily obtain prescriptions from him. Stack, 60, would meet with as many as 80 patients a day at a desk in his waiting room and collect or bill $70 to $200 for each visit, according to the federal indictment.

MIAMI

Cover-up alleged in cash transfer

U.S. authorities have charged five foreign men as unregistered Venezuelan agents in connection with a scheme to smuggle $800,000 to the election campaign of newly inaugurated Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, federal officials in Miami said Wednesday.

The defendants, four of whom have been arrested in South Florida and appeared in court Wednesday, stand accused of trying to conceal the source and destination of the cash that was seized last August in a suitcase at an airport here, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Miami.

The four men in custody include three Venezuelan citizens and a Uruguayan national. Another Venezuelan suspect remained at large.

Although Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is not mentioned in the U.S. complaint, federal prosecutors allege the defendants said that high-ranked Venezuelan authorities were aware of efforts to hush up the aborted $800,000 campaign contribution. A central figure in the current case, South Florida businessman Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, allegedly transported the cash-bearing suitcase to Buenos Aires from Caracas, Venezuela. He, however, has not been charged with a crime and returned to Florida after the cash was seized in August.

Federal law requires that anyone acting on behalf of a foreign power notify U.S. authorities. The five have been charged with failing to do so.

LOS ANGELES

Wife found guilty in acid vat death

A biochemist who killed her husband by knocking him out and pouring hydrochloric acid on him was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder.

A Superior Court jury found Larissa Schuster, 47, of Clovis, guilty of murdering Timothy Schuster. His half-dissolved body was found a few days after his 2003 death in a barrel in a storage unit.

The Schusters co-owned a chemical lab and were in the midst of a bitter divorce.

Prosecutors said Larissa Schuster and her former lab assistant kidnapped her 45-year-old husband on July 10, 2003, knocked him out with a stun gun and chloroform-soaked rag, then dumped his bound body head-first into a barrel while he was still breathing.


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