A doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid painkiller for Prince a week before he died from a fentanyl overdose has agreed to pay $30,000, settling a federal civil violation, The Associated Press reports.
Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg of Minneapolis agreed to the settlement with the U.S. District Attorney's Office on Monday, right before prosecutors announced that they won't be filing any criminal charges stemming from the two-year investigation into Prince's death.
Federal prosecutors said Schulenberg is not currently a target of any criminal investigation, his attorney, Amy Conners, said Thursday.
"There have been no allegations made by the government that Dr. Schulenberg had any role in Prince's death," Conners said in a statement.
In the case resulting in the $30,000 settlement, prosecutors and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alleged Schulenberg, a family physician who saw Prince twice before he died, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he wrote a prescription in the name of someone else on April 14, 2016.
Schulenberg has 30 days to pay $30,000 to the U.S. government. He has also agreed to stricter requirements for logging and reporting his prescriptions of controlled substances for two years. For example, he must keep detailed logs of all controlled substances he prescribes, allow the DEA to inspect the logs and other records without notice, and he must allow the DEA access to his prescribing history.
Schulenberg's registration will not be revoked by the DEA unless he does not comply with the settlement.
The settlement does not name Prince or make any references to the Prince investigation. However, previously-released search warrants say Schulenberg told authorities he prescribed oxycodone to Prince on April 14 and put it under the name of Prince's bodyguard and friend, Kirk Johnson, "for Prince's privacy."
It's illegal for a doctor to write a prescription for someone under another person's name.
However, Schulenberg's attorney disputed that claim and said the doctor did not prescribe opiates to any patient with the intent that they go to Prince.
"After he learned of Prince's addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist," Conners said.
Conners said Schulenberg agreed to the settlement in order to avoid any expense, delay or unknown outcome of litigation. "He made no admission of facts nor liability and denies any such liability," she said.
Oxycodone was not listed as a cause of Prince's death, but is a part of a group of painkillers (opioids) driving the country's addiction and overdose epidemic, which President Trump declared a state of emergency.
Prince was 57 when he was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin. No one has been criminally charged in neither state nor federal investigations, which have been ongoing for nearly two years.
"The bottom line is that we simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince's death," Carver County Attorney Mark Metz stated in a press conference Thursday. He also said that investigators believe Prince "thought he was taking vicodin."