Charlotte Couple Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Prescription Opioids, some in Wythe County
|ABINGDON, Virginia – A Charlotte, North Carolina-based doctor and his wife pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, to charges that they conspired to illegally distribute prescription opioids in the Western District of Virginia and then made a false statement about the conduct, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced today.
David Francis Lelio, 57, and Nadja Siiri Kujanson-Lelio, 50, both of Charlotte, N.C., each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute prescription opioids, specifically oxycodone. David Lelio also pleaded guilty to an additional count of making a false statement. Both will be sentenced on December 10, 2020.
The pair admitted that between 2016 and 2019, Dr. David Lelio wrote more than 60 prescriptions for oxycodone to patients, some of who resided in Wythe County, Virginia, without a legitimate medical purpose. As part of the conspiracy, Dr. Lelio wrote opioid prescriptions in his patients’ names, with the understanding that some or all of the prescriptions would be shared with his wife, Nadja Kujanson-Lelio. Dr. Lelio and his wife then reimbursed the patients for the cost of filling the prescriptions. When asked by law enforcement about the conspiracy, David Lelio falsely stated there was no agreement with any of his patients to return or share the prescription opioids with his wife.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorneys Lena Busscher and Randy Ramseyer are prosecuting the case for the United States.
According to Major Anthony Cline of the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, on February 14, 2019, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office responded to 142 Ridgeland Drive Max Meadows, Virginia about a deceased male. Upon our arrival, deputies found the deceased male to be Michael Miles (age 63) of Charlotte, North Carolina. Deputies obtained a search warrant for the residence and found multiple prescriptions that were prescribed to the deceased by Doctor David Legio of Charlotte, North Carolina. Deputies found prescriptions for pain medication Oxycodone. While deputies were searching the residence Dr. Legio and his wife arrived at the residence in Max Meadows. Investigators found Dr. Legio was a psychiatrist in Charlotte and that it is not common for a psychiatrist to prescribe medication. This sparked an investigation between the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, State, and Federal Agencies.
The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case along with the Virginia State Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Western District).