Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Dr. Hoshour

From The Indianapolis Star

Indicted doc faked suicide, then fled Indiana

November 22, 2003, Indianapolis, Ind. -- Indianapolis police seized computer equipment and financial records Friday from the home of Dr. Thomas Hoshour in a search for clues to where, as they believe, he is hiding. Documents filed Friday maintained that Hoshour, 58, faked his suicide before disappearing two weeks ago. Marion County prosecutors say the director of eight drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics, called Sober Life Alternatives, billed insurance companies for tests and treatment that were never done, racking up more than $200,000 in false claims.

Records show Irsay had over 100 prescriptions in one year
Roger Harvey/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, Nov. 19 - Pharmacy records show just how extensive Irsay's use of prescription drugs was up until July of this year.
When the National Football League held its winter meetings in Orlando last March, Jim Irsay was there.
And according to pharmacy records, he was also using large quantities of powerful narcotics like Oxycontin and Percoset, 10 prescriptions in March alone.
The records were provided to Drug Enforcement Administration investigators by Charles Lindstrom, owner of the Nora Apothecary.
Ferd Samper is Lindstrom's attorney. "He did nothing wrong."
Samper's client has a letter granting him immunity in exchange for cooperating with federal investigators.
Their investigation is focused on Irsay and several pharmacies and doctors, including Nora Apothecary and Dr. Gregory Chernoff.
Lindstrom has records for more than 100 painkiller prescriptions in a year's time. Most of them were signed with Chernoff's name and written to Jim Irsay.
"If Chuck Lindstrom had not filled these Jim Irsay would have gone to one of 150 other pharmacies around town and got them filled," says Samper. "He was going to get them filled no matter what."
Samper says Lindstrom was concerned by the number of prescriptions and called Chernoff to verify them.
Samper: He talked to him two or three times.
Eyewitness News: And what was said in that conversation?
Samper: Well, I believe Doctor Chernoff said, "Fill them. I am trying to work him off them."
Chernoff has declined to comment, citing patient confidentiality.
Chernoff and Lindstrom aren't the only ones whose names have surfaced in the investigation. An Irsay friend and former Colts player, Gary Padjen, also received painkiller prescriptions from Nora, according to records. They were written to Padjen and signed with Chernoff's name.
Also appearing in Lindtsrom's records, a prescription written to Irsay by Dr. Tom Hoshour of Sober Life Alternatives.
This isn't the first time Eyewitness News has mentioned Sober Life Alternatives, a north side treatment center. Last week, we reported that Sober Life is one of several places where Irsay has gone for treatment.
According to state records, federal authorities investigated Nora in 1973 because of significant shortages of drugs like Percodan and cocaine. Charles Lindstrom got a $500 fine and ended up buying out a partner who was implicated in the drug diversion.

Doctor speaks out on Irsay investigation
Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, Nov. 20 - "Jim Irsay and I have been friends for probably ten years." Dr. Tom Hoshour is a long time friend of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
He also treated Irsay for an addiction to prescription drugs.
Eyewitness News has reported Irsay is at the center of a federal investigation into possible prescription fraud.
"My role as the investigation goes is, I am one of many treatment providers, as I would imagine that Mr. Irsay has had treatment by several providers," says Dr. Hoshour.
The federal investigation centers on Irsay's use of highly addictive painkillers, and what role several pharmacies and doctors played in obtaining those drugs.
The Eyewitness News Investigators obtained prescriptions written for Irsay, including one by Hoshour.
Hoshour told Channel 13 he never writes prescriptions for addictive medicine to any of his patients, but that he only offers drugs like Paxil, Prozac and Wellbutrin. "Medications I prescribe to my patients, whoever they may be, are nonaddictive medications to help them with cravings and detox to get them off the medication."
Hoshour himself knows addiction recovery firsthand. He shares with his patients that he too was an addict who eventually ended up behind bars. "I am not ashamed of it."
In 1989, Hoshour was convicted and lost his medical license in a prescription drug case. He served time in federal and state prisons for possession with intent to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to commit murder.
He now has his medical license back and is well regarded by local judges and others for his work as an addiction counselor.

Hoshour says he has not spoken with Irsay since the investigation started.
But, like himself, he hopes the NFL owner is on the road to recovery. "It's no doubt in my mind that guy's got what it takes."

Dr. Hoshour's prescription to Irsay was among documents a local pharmacist turned over to federal investigators. But Hoshour says he's confident he won't be implicated in any wrongdoing.
Hoshour says although the Irsay investigation is ongoing, he's glad to see the growing problem of prescription drug addiction finally getting so much attention.

January 22, 2004
Detective Thomas McGraw
Doctor wanted as a fugitive from justice
Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana is offering a reward for information that leads to the capture of Doctor Thomas E. Hoshour, who authorities believe is responsible for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple insurance companies.
According to Detective Darin Odier with the Indianapolis Police Department, in July of 2003 the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office charged Thomas Hoshour with Theft and Corrupt Business Influence. These felony charges were brought against Hoshour after an investigation revealed that for over a three-year time period, Thomas Hoshour’s company had billed hundreds of thousands of dollars to recovering drug addicts’ and alcoholics’ insurance providers for services and treatment that were allegedly never performed. On November 5, 2003, Thomas Hoshour failed to appear in Marion County Criminal Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Detective Odier said that on the following day, authorities believe Hoshour faked his own suicide and fled the Indianapolis area and has been a fugitive from justice ever since.
Thomas Hoshour is white, 57-years-old, 6-feet tall, and 150 pounds, with brown or hazel eyes. In July of 2003, he had short, brown and gray hair. A photo of Hoshour can be seen at the Crime Stoppers website at
Please contact Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS or at 1-800-92-ALERT if you have any information that may assist authorities in locating Thomas Hoshour. Callers will remain anonymous and will be known only by a code number and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.

Feb 11, 2004
Insurance fraud suspect was on the run for 3 months

By Vic Ryckaert
February 11, 2004

After three months on the run, a fugitive physician who, prosecutors say, faked his suicide was captured Tuesday in the basement of an Indianapolis home.

Police found Dr. Thomas Hoshour, 58, about 11 a.m. in a friend's Eastside home in the first block of Bankers Lane. Prosecutors say Hoshour surrendered without a struggle.

Hoshour, prosecutors say, skipped town in November to avoid trial on fraud, theft and corrupt business influence charges. He is accused of billing insurance companies for tests and treatments that never were done.

"I would like to be the first to welcome Dr. Hoshour back to Indianapolis," Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said.

Hoshour, a recovering alcoholic, ran eight Sober Life Alternatives clinics in Indiana. His patients ranged from prostitutes to judges and included Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was treated for substance abuse in 1998. Three clinics now operate under new management.

Little is known about where Hoshour has been hiding since he failed to appear for a Nov. 5 hearing.

Hoshour spent time in Illinois, prosecutors say, where he obtained a fake driver's license Nov. 22 under the name Bruce Rawlings.

He also spent time in Florida, investigators say. They found a Delray Beach, Fla., hotel key in his car and handwritten notes indicating he had spent time in Sarasota, Brizzi said.

"He didn't look good after he was arrested," Brizzi said. "He was obviously sleeping in his car."

Hoshour, Brizzi said, was in Indianapolis about 3 a.m. when he began calling his estranged wife. Diane Hart gave grand jury investigators the phone number Hoshour used.

Police traced that cell phone number to Hoshour's friend and former employee Ed Karwatka. Police found Hoshour in Karwatka's home and arrested both men about 11 a.m.

Karwatka, 42, will be charged with a felony for helping Hoshour hide, Brizzi said.

Karwatka is director of training for Health Recovery Centers of Indiana, the group that now runs Hoshour's clinics, said Brose McVey, a lawyer for the clinics.

Hoshour will face new charges of failure to appear, forgery -- for carrying the fake driver's license -- and possession of a controlled substance for carrying the painkiller Vicodin, Brizzi said. Hoshour is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. today in court, where prosecutors will ask that he be held without bond until his trial.

Hoshour was arrested in July and accused of racking up more than $200,000 in false insurance claims. He had been free on $7,500 bond before, prosecutors say, he left town.

According to documents filed in November, Hoshour staged a suicide in his Cicero home, leaving behind a note, a knife, papers from his pending divorce and empty vodka bottles.

"We never believed that the suicide was genuine," Brizzi said. "The thing about suicides, if you are successful, it is pretty hard to conceal your own death."

As he was being driven into jail Tuesday Hoshour told WTHR (Channel 13), The Indianapolis Star's news-gathering partner: "I was going to kill myself, but I got so drunk I couldn't do it."

A fitness buff, Hoshour spent the past decade rebuilding his career after serving time in prison for his role in a murder scheme.

In 1989, Hoshour, then an osteopathic physician practicing in Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to state charges of conspiracy to commit murder for providing a gun and bomb to an informant for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Hoshour asked the informant to use the bomb to kill a family friend, a plot that never hatched.

Under a plea deal, Hoshour was sentenced to 30 months in prison. He also simultaneously served a 30-month federal sentence for possession of a bomb and writing illegal prescriptions.

Call Star reporter Vic Ryckaert at (317) 444-2750.


Post a Comment

<< Home