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Local nurse convicted in illegal prescriptions case

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A local woman who previously worked as a nurse at a clinic in Christian County has been convicted on two counts for her role in a case involving illegal prescriptions. The conviction follows a sentencing last year of a doctor colleague at the Ozarks Community Hospital clinic, and three other former employees with related cases are awaiting sentencing.

Kimberly Hoffer, 51, of Ozark, was found guilty following a bench trial by U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough in July. The court on Friday issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law, according to a news release from the office of Teresa Moore, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Hoffer has been convicted on one count of conspiracy to use a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number issued to another person in connection with the distribution of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose.

The case involves multiple defendants who worked at Ozarks Community Hospital’s Christian County clinic in Nixa, according to the release. Randall Halley, a former physician at the clinic, was sentenced last year to jail time, an order of restitution and a fine for taking bribes from a drug manufacturer in exchange for prescribing the company's fentanyl drug to his patients, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

In his absence, Halley conspired with some employees at the clinic to use his registration number so they could prescribe medications, according to Moore’s office. Some of the employees were not legally able to prescribe controlled substances, and in other cases, Halley presigned prescriptions for future visits.

Hoffer, who was employed as a licensed practical nurse at the clinic by Halley, could receive a sentence of up to 24 years in federal prison without parole under federal statutes, according to the release.

Three other former employees – nurse practitioners Nga "Lily" Nguyen, 44, and Susan Gail Morris, 64, both of Springfield, and licensed practical nurse Amber Moeschler, 40, of Ozark – have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

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