Doctor changes pleas to seven charges in prescription fraud case

  • Arrington

KAILUA-KONA — A Hawaii Island doctor accused of prescription fraud changed his plea to guilty to some of the various charges he was indicted on last year.

Clifton Arrington, who originally pleaded not guilty to 14 drug-related charges in September 2017, pleaded guilty last week to seven of the charges.

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On March 22, Arrington pleaded guilty to prohibited acts, a Class B misdemeanor, three counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and three counts of second-degree promotion of a harmful drug.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 23. The prosecutor will move at that time to dismiss the remaining charges.

Arrington was indicted by a grand jury in August 2017. The indictment stems from an investigation that began in March 2016.

Court documents indicate that from January to March 2016, the doctor did “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly predate or pre-sign prescriptions to facilitate the obtaining or attempted obtaining of a controlled substance.”

The Ocean View man was first arrested March 17, 2016, by the state Narcotics Enforcement Division at his North Kona office in Honalo Business Center while patients were awaiting appointments. At the time, Arrington was released pending the investigation.

After the indictment was filed Aug. 8, 2017, in 3rd Circuit Court, Arrington turned himself in a few days later and was freed on supervised release, according to court documents.

Arrington, who specializes in anti-aging medicine, was licensed and registered by the Department of Public Safety as a person who is able to distribute, dispense or conduct research with respect to a controlled substance.

Since his arrest last year, Arrington has maintained his medical practice and his license was up for renewal Jan. 31. It appears to have been renewed.

According to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Arrington’s business license is current and his medical license is current, valid and in good standing.

According to the DPS website, Arrington’s license to dispense narcotics and medical marijuana is still active. It expires June 30.

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Toni Schwartz, DPS spokeswoman who oversees the Narcotics Enforcement Division, said she could not comment about a pending investigation.

Email Tiffany DeMasters at tdemasters@westhawaiitoday.com.

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