PORTLAND (AP) – A Westbrook methadone clinic has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a civil lawsuit alleging it improperly dispensed of methadone, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

In its suit, the government alleged that CAP Quality Care Inc. engaged in improper conduct in 2001 and 2002 that increased the risk of methadone being diverted for illegal use. Methadone is a synthetic narcotic used to treat those addicted to heroin and other opiates.

The government alleged that from the time the clinic opened in 2001, CAP used an unreliable methadone inventory and dispensing system and repeatedly gave patients methadone to carry away from the clinic.

The government further alleged that CAP’s patients did not receive the quality of care they deserved and falsified a variety of documents.

The owner of CAP said she rejected the government’s suggestion that CAP’s conduct was in any way responsible for the spike in methadone overdose deaths in Portland in 2001 and 2002.

“We agreed to pay the $1 million to end the lawsuit in order to ensure that CAP Quality Care will be able to continue to serve the needs of the clinic’s many patients,” said Noa Shinderman.

Shinderman’s husband, Dr. Marc Shinderman, was sentenced to six months in prison in March for his convictions last year for prescription fraud.

Marc Shinderman, the clinic’s founder, was convicted of writing prescriptions for controlled substances using the name and drug registration number of another physician. Shinderman, who was not licensed to write the prescriptions in Maine, said he thought the arrangement was acceptable.

AP-ES-09-05-07 1652EDT

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