Florida Doctor Pleads Guilty In Western Slope Painkiller Case

One of two doctors accused of overprescribing painkillers at clinics in western Colorado has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

The Montrose Daily Press reports that court documents show Eric Peper of Summerland Key, Florida, pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday and agreed to fully cooperate with authorities, including offering testimony.

Federal prosecutors allege that Piper and Sam Jahani, of Beaumont, Texas, overprescribed the drugs to defraud health care benefit programs. They say the drugs contributed to the deaths of four people.

Jahani has pleaded not guilty and is set for trial next year. Peper will be sentenced Dec. 1.

Peper worked for Jahani, who formerly operated Urgent Care Inc. clinics in Delta, Montrose and Grand Junction. They were shut down after a 2009 raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration.