A Maplewood dentist funneled hundreds of opioid painkiller doses through illegal prescriptions whose recipients included an employee and his own son, according to a civil complaint filed Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to the lawsuit, the prescriptions that Dr. Jerry Kent Brunsoman allegedly issued included approving 36 oxycodone pills for a laser technician at his practice over a three-day period. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Brunsoman did not document having examined the employee nor did he include a rationale for the prescriptions.
Brunsoman and his Institute of Facial Surgery of St. Paul, which does business as the Ideal Skin Laser Rejuvenation Center, are named in the complaint, which seeks civil monetary penalties and injunctive relief.
Earlier this month, Brunsoman agreed to an order from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry that will strip him of his U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Registry as of Aug. 1, according to court papers.
“Medical professionals have an obligation to maintain accurate and complete records of their prescribing practices, particularly when it comes to highly addictive controlled substances,” U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said in a statement on Thursday. “My office and our DEA partners will use all available tools to address the devastating opioid epidemic.”
A message was left seeking comment from Brunsoman; an attorney is not yet listed for him in the case.
The DEA’s diversion group in the Twin Cities investigated the case and officials from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office paid Brunsoman an unannounced visit last year after his office manager complained to the state dentistry board about the prescriptions to the employee.
Brunsoman, a manager and registered agent of the institute, is accused of repeated and systemic violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The complaint alleges that Brunsoman also failed to keep complete and accurate records of receiving and dispensing of controlled substances that included the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl.
“As a result of Brunsoman’s violations of the CSA, hundreds of doses of controlled substances are unaccounted for and presumed to have been diverted for illicit purposes,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Marentette wrote in the complaint.