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Prison Health Services Physician’s Assistant License Revocation Upheld

On June 2, 2005, a Maryland court of appeals upheld the revocation of a Prison Health Services (PBS) Physician’s Assistant (PA) certificate for fraudulently procuring prescriptions for his adult son.

Carl F. Oltman, Sr., was a PA, employed by PHS, contracted to work for the Department of the Navy at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Oltman had served in the Navy from 1969 through 1995 and was retired. As a Navy retiree, he was entitled to medical care and prescriptions for himself and his children until the children reached the age of twenty-one (twenty-three if attending college). Oltman’s son, Carl Oltman, Jr., had been diagnosed with Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder and been prescribed Ritalin, a controlled substance, or its generic equivalent.

Once Junior turned twenty-one, he was no longer eligible for prescriptions paid for by the Navy. At that time, and for two and a half years thereafter, Oltman fraudulently obtained prescriptions for Junior’s medication. To do this, Oltman used physician’s computers to enter fraudulent prescriptions four times and persuaded Navy physicians to enter fraudulent prescriptions nine times. After his criminal conduct was discovered, Oltman pleaded guilty to federal and Maryland misdemeanor charges of obtaining a prescription drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge. He was sentenced to two years probation, a $1,000 fine and ordered to pay $1,208.43 in restitution.

After the criminal conviction, Maryland began proceedings to revoke Oltman’s PA certificate. An Administrative Law judge made findings that the crime involved moral turpitude and the certificate should be revoked. The Physician Quality Assurance Board then revoked the certificate. Oltman sought judicial review of the board’s decision in the state circuit court. The circuit court upheld the board’s decision, holding that the crime involved fraud and was therefore a crime involving moral turpitude. Oltman appealed the decision to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. The court of appeals affirmed the circuit court’s judgment, also finding that the crime was one of moral turpitude due to fraud. The courts also held that it did not matter whether the crime was a misdemeanor or felony, the certificate could be revoked for any crime involving moral turpitude, regardless of its magnitude. See: Oltman v. Maryland State Board of Physicians, 875 A.2d 200; 162 Md.App. 457 (Md.App. 2005).

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Related legal case

Oltman v. Maryland State Board of Physicians