KINGSTON – A Kingston man whose medical license was revoked was charged Thursday with bilking a Hazleton attorney out of $6,500 for an expert medical opinion report that was never delivered.
David A. Rigle, 56, of Kingston, was arraigned Thursday afternoon before District Judge Paul Roberts on two counts of theft by deception.
The charges come two days after Rigle's home on John Street was searched by authorities investigating allegations that Rigle and his sister, Deborah McMenamin, defrauded another man who was seeking a medical expert opinion out of $20,000. No charges have been filed in that case.
The charges filed Thursday stem from Rigle's failure to provide a report to attorney John Solt of Hazleton.
According to an arrest affidavit, Solt initially contacted Rigle, of Toxic Tort Consultants and Forensic Consulting Specialists Inc., in September 2009, requesting that Rigle conduct a "pre-review" of medical records for a client, which Rigle agreed to complete at no cost.
Rigle later told Solt the case had merit and that he needed an initial retainer of $2,500 to obtain an expert who would render a favorable opinion. Rigle by email requested in July 2010 an additional retainer of $4,000, which Solt paid. Solt repeatedly emailed Rigle between August 2010 and April 2011 about the report and was given excuses about why it was not done.
Solt stopped returning emails in April 2011 and, in May, Solt left Rigle a message indicating he was going to contact the authorities regarding what he believed to be fraud. He received an email from a person identifying herself as Taylor Provost, who wrote that the report was not delivered because Rigle was in an auto accident. She agreed to provide a police report on the accident, but never did.
Solt said he was led to believe Rigle was a medical doctor because he signed his emails "David Rigle M.D.," but later learned that Rigle's medical license was suspended or revoked.
Investigators learned that Rigle formerly lived in Syracuse, N.Y., that he was affiliated with Toxic Tort Consultant, and Forensic Med Pro, and was now operating under the business names of The Care Protection Resource, LLC, and Integra Medical Experts. They also learned that his medical license had been revoked.
In the other case still under investigation, First Assistant Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said the alleged victim, whom he did not identify, was seeking a medical expert to evaluate a malpractice claim the man was considering filing in connection with the death of his mother at a health care facility.
The man made numerous payments to Rigle and McMenamin, but they never provided him the report.
Rigle was committed to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 cash bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Wednesday before District Judge James Dixon in Hazle Township.