Michigan doctor accused of stealing medications associated with abortions pleads no contest

Dr. Michael Roth pleads no contest to 3 larceny charges

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DETROIT - A West Bloomfield OB/GYN pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges in connection to medications and equipment reported stolen in December 2014.

Dr. Michael Arthur Roth was accused of stealing the items from the Eastland Women's Clinic. Police said officers found the equipment after Roth was involved in a car collision in September 2015 on 14 Mile Road in West Bloomfield. Officers searched the vehicle and found medical equipment, vials of the sedative Fentanyl -- a schedule II sedative and analgesic -- and medical containers of human tissue in his car trunk, prompting further investigation. The Michigan Attorney General's Office said the materials found are frequently associated with abortion procedures. 

A search of Roth’s home and office found more Fentanyl, large amounts of cash, medical equipment, and empty containers for transporting tissue, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Authorities say that a medical assistant at the Eastland Women’s Center had allegedly admitted to stealing the equipment and medications for Roth, who was said to have known the materials were stolen.

Here is the full case background from the Attorney General's Office: 

An investigation into Michael Roth began after a September 2015 car accident in West Bloomfield. After the West Bloomfield accident, his car was impounded and Mr. Roth requested property from his car. Upon retrieving the property, local police found evidence of six prescriptions for Ciprofloxacin, a common antibiotic used with abortion procedures, which was allegedly written by Dr. Angel Ojeda, a doctor who runs the Eastland Women’s Center in Eastpointe, Michigan. The clinic’s primary focus is terminating pregnancies. Officers also found vials of Fentanyl, a drug commonly used as a sedative during termination procedures, as well as containers of post-conception material.

Medical records indicate that Roth sometimes worked out of Dr. Ojeda’s clinic. Dr. Ojeda and the women whose names were listed on the prescriptions said they had no knowledge of the prescriptions. Dr. Ojeda also stated that a large amount of Fentanyl was stolen from his office in December 2014. When interviewed, Ojeda stated he had never given Roth permission to have Fentanyl or Ciprofloxacin from his clinic, a statement which was corroborated by a clinic employee. A separate medical assistant employed at the Eastland Women’s Center admitted to stealing medical equipment and medications used in abortions from the clinic for Roth and that he was fully aware the materials were stolen.

A search warrant was completed on Roth’s home and office. Additional vials of Fentanyl were found at the home. Both the Fentanyl found in the car and in the house were matched to the Fentanyl that was stolen from the women’s clinic. The search warrant also revealed a large amount of cash with names and what is believed to be pregnancy information attached to each bundle of cash, medical materials such as syringes, disposable scalpels and empty containers similar to the ones filled with post-conception material found in Roth’s car.

The Michigan Board of Medicine suspended Roth's OB/GYN license in September and fined him $25,000 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. 

Roth was charged with possession with intent to deliver schedule II narcotic Fentanyl, six counts of identity theft, and three counts of larceny in a building. He is pleading no contest to the larceny charges. 

Roth’s plea neither admits nor disputes the charges, but has the same immediate effects as a plea of guilty. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7. 

"Dr. Roth broke the law and jeopardized patient health in the process,” said Schuette in a news release Tuesday. "Today’s plea moves us on step forward in insuring this man cannot do this again."

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