Owensboro Times Article by\u00a0Ashley Sorce\u00a0Friday, October 26th, 2018 1:24 pm\u00a0\u00a0in\u00a0Community,\u00a0Health & Wellness,\u00a0News\r\n\r\nKarla King, former nurse practitioner and owner of Balanced Life Medicine in Owensboro, pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud Wednesday in federal court.\r\n\r\n \r\nKarla is the widow of the late Dr. Randall King, a well-known local OB-GYN, with whom Karla shared a medical practice. Dr. King died in 2016 while at a medical conference in Texas.\r\nAccording to the plea agreement, from June 2013 to January 2015, Karla faxed false and fraudulent information from Owensboro to Ooltewah, Tenn., in order to fraudulently obtain goods in the approximate amount of $20,000, which resulted in interstate wire communication.\r\n\r\nOriginally set for Thursday in Owensboro, Karla\u2019s case was seen before Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl in Bowling Green a day early. Karla waived her constitutional right to indictment by grand jury and consented to being charged by information of the U.S. attorney.\r\nBecause a magistrate judge does not have the authority to impose conviction or sentencing, Brennenstuhl was only able to conduct the plea portion of the proceedings. Sentencing will take place in the Owensboro federal court at 11:45 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2019.\r\nThe plea agreement states that the charge carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a three-year term of supervised release. However, at the time of sentencing, the U.S. will only recommend probation.\r\n\u201cI certainly have no reason to believe one way or the other as to the reason why the district judge would not agree to that,\u201d Brennenstuhl said during the court proceedings. \u201cIt is only that \u2014 a recommendation by the parties to the judge.\u201d\r\nKarla was released on her own recognizance, meaning no bail was required and she is free on her own promise to appear for her next court date.\r\nAccording to Karla\u2019s attorney, John Caudill, the court accommodated his request to be seen a day early because he had other cases in Bowling Green Wednesday.\r\nCaudill said his client committed a technical violation of the law, which she acknowledged. Her admission satisfied the government, which has been investigating this case for three years. Caudill said that once his client was married to Dr. King and began working in his office, Dr. King gave her \u201cdirectives\u201d to follow.\r\n\u201cOne of those directives the government had a problem with,\u201d Caudill said.\r\nKarla now resides in Tennessee, Caudill said, and \u201chas moved on with her life,\u201d continuing to practice as a licensed nurse.\r\nAccording to the Kentucky Board of Nursing, Karla\u2019s nursing licensure expired in Kentucky, but she remains licensed in Tennessee and Georgia.\r\n\u201cHer nursing license isn\u2019t impacted on this,\u201d Caudill said. \u201cThere is no contention by the government that anyone was harmed or lost money.\u201d\r\nCaudill said his client is an excellent nurse.\r\n\u201cShe is still practicing in Tennessee,\u201d Caudill said. \u201cThere is no reason she shouldn\u2019t be.\u201d\r\nKarla is currently in a legal battle with Deborah Blandford, of Owensboro, who claims Karla is responsible for the death of Deborah\u2019s husband.\r\nJames A. \u201cTony\u201d Blandford, 58, of Owensboro, died of a heart attack in November 2016. In a complaint filed against Karla in Daviess County Circuit Court, Deborah alleges that Karla prescribed, sold and administered hormones to patients, including Blandford\u2019s husband. Deborah says Karla administered these hormones when they were not clinically indicated, provided no benefit and exposed patient to the risk of harm or death.\r\nThe complaint states that Karla implanted testosterone pellets in Tony on three separate occasions in order to raise his testosterone levels, which she diagnosed as low. Deborah stated in her complaint that her husband\u2019s primary care physician found him to have normal testosterone levels during this same time period. Deborah contends that according to the FDA, testosterone replacement therapy is only recommended for cases of hypogonadism, which her husband\u2019s primary care physician ruled out.\r\nDeborah is asking for a jury trial and Karla to be charged with negligence, lack of informed consent, fraud and punitive damages, among other charges.\r\nA similar civil suit was filed in 2015 by Deloris Pate, who claimed her husband James Pate, 60, died after receiving hormone replacement therapy administered by Karla through her previous practice, Global Artistry Aesthetics Training & Education. In her complaint, Deloris accused the hormone replacement manufacturer, Karla and Dr. King, as well as Global Artistry Aesthetics Training & Education, of negligence. The case was dismissed in September 2016.\r\nAccording to Ronald Johnson, attorney for both Deloris and Deborah, the case was dismissed because a settlement was reached just weeks before trial. A confidentiality agreement between parties did not allow Johnson to disclose any details of the settlement.