SAN DIEGO – Dr. David J. Smith, a pain management physician, and his office manager, Julia Ann Oertle, are charged in a federal grand-jury indictment with perpetuating a long-running scheme to commit healthcare fraud and to manufacture and distribute adulterated fentanyl. 

Smith made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal. Smith’s bond was set at $1 million, secured by real property, with a limitation on his ability to practice medicine. Oertle was still at large. 

According to allegations in the indictment, Smith purports to specialize in the installation and maintenance of intrathecal pain pumps which are surgically placed in a patient’s stomach with two catheters implanted on the spine; pain medicine is then infused into a reservoir in the pump periodically, and meted out directly into the spine. 

Read the full press release. US Department of Justice, December 15, 2022