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Timberline founder facing federal drug charges

PHILADELPHIA — The founder of Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Tucker County is facing federal charges for allegedly illegally prescribing opiods to patients who didn’t need the drugs in exchange for cash.

Dr. Frederick Reichle, 83, of Warrington, Pennsylvania, was one of 14 people named in indictments Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The charges listed in the indictments include conspiracy to dispense and distribute controlled substances outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose; distribution of oxycodone; health care fraud; and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

Reichle is accused of acting as a go-between for Dr. Murray Soss, 78, whose medical license was suspended in 2017, to get prescription drugs so Soss could exchange them for sex. Soss allegedly had Reichle fill out oxycodone prescriptions, and then Soss would exchange the pills for sexual favors from one of his patients, officials say.

Reichle is also accused of being paid off to prescribe drugs for Soss’s other patients.

“Soss and Reichle charged the patients a fee to obtain oxycodone prescriptions, written by Reichle, that were not medically necessary,” the District Attorney’s Office said.

The two doctors and the 12 other defendants are accused of issuing more than 3,600 illegal prescriptions between 2014 and 2017.

“As alleged in these indictments, thousands of illegally prescribed pills flooded our streets because of the conduct of these defendants,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said in a press release.

Patients were charged an office fee from $80 to $140 before being prescribed painkillers, officials say. The indicted are accused of doing this on a daily basis and ignoring signs — including positive urine tests — that patients were abusing the painkillers or even selling them off to other people.

Reichle founded Timberline more than 30 years ago. His nephew, Fred Herz, 56, of Davis, is the co-owner and managing partner of the resort. Herz was arrested on Dec. 13 and charged with 12 misdemeanor counts of failure to pay hotel/motel taxes.

On Dec. 14, the West Virginia Public Service Commission presented evidence against Timberline Four Seasons Utilities in an all-day hearing at Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center. The evidence made the case that Timberline Four Seasons Utilities had failed to meet federal and state tax liabilities for multiple years, failed to collect payment on water and sewer services provided to affiliates, was unable to provide timely bills to their customers along with having inaccurate readings of water meters on the bills, and was unable to satisfy many other state codes.

The PSC recommended that the Timberline Four Seasons Utilities facility be taken over by the Canaan Valley Public Service District.

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