January 21, 2012 12:24:00 AM
VICKSBURG-- The Vicksburg home of a Tallulah, La., doctor who was arrested on 300 counts of prescription fraud is the target of a forfeiture civil suit brought by Warren County District Attorney Ricky Smith.
The Vicksburg Post reports that Dr. Lawrence Chenier and the home at 100 Colonial Drive, along with two lienholders -- State Farm Bank, of Bloomington, Ill., and M&I Support Services Corp., of Madison, Wis. -- are named in the suit filed Jan. 6 in Warren County Court.
Chenier, 58, was arrested Sept. 29 along with Patti Carr, 41, whom investigators identified as his live-in girlfriend. Each is accused of 300 counts of controlled substance fraud in acquisition and one count of conspiracy to commit controlled substance fraud in acquisition.
A grand jury has not heard the case, but the panel's January term meets next week. Officials say their cases could be among those considered at that time.
Smith would not comment on the specifics of the suit, citing "ongoing litigation," but said if it is successful, the property would be sold and the proceeds would go to the Warren County Sheriff's Office.
The house and land, valued at less than $200,000 according to the suit, are subject to forfeiture because of having allegedly been used to facilitate violation of the Mississippi Uniform Controlled Substances Law.
Warren County land rolls value the house and land at $177,450.
Deputies who searched the home found nearly 400 prescription vials they said were from fraudulent drug purchases, many of them from Vicksburg-area pharmacies. Matched with prescription records, the vials showed the haul included about 6,000 Lorcet and 8,000 Lyrica tablets. In addition, about 80 Xanax pills had been prescribed, and a small quantity recovered.
Chenier and Carr are free after each posted $100,000 bond.
Documents show Chenier was an emergency and family practice physician licensed in Louisiana. He maintained an office and also worked in the emergency room of the Madison Parish Hospital. A hospital spokesman would not comment on his employment status.
Records show Chenier received his medical degree in 1980 from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., and has been in practice since 1982.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
1. Councilman Turner responds to AG opinion COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Camp Rising Sun: A community treasure COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Higgins: $150 million project eying Lowndes Port COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY