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New drug-related charges filed against Anna Nicole Smith's attorney

September 23, 2009 |  1:21 pm

Prosecutors expanded their case against Anna Nicole Smith’s attorney and companion today, charging him with five additional crimes and placing him at the center of what authorities say was a conspiracy with two doctors to funnel excessive amounts of prescription drugs to the late model.

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office added four counts of obtaining a prescription for opiates under a false name or address and one count of prescribing, administering or dispensing controlled substances to an addict to the half-dozen charges Howard K. Stern was already facing.

The counts were previously included in the complaint naming Stern, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich as conspirators, but each charge applied only to one of the physicians. With the additional charges, Stern is named in all 11 counts of the complaint and the doctors face six.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Carney downplayed the move as a correction to a “clerical omission” in previous complaints, but Stern’s attorney said it showed a lack of confidence by prosecutors.

“They are using a shotgun approach. Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks and the answer will be nothing sticks,” lawyer Steven Sadow said.

A preliminary hearing to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed to trial is set for Oct. 5, but prosecutors plan to ask for an eight-day delay to evaluate handwriting samples taken today from Stern and Kapoor.

Smith died from an overdose of prescription drugs in 2007.

-- Harriet Ryan in Los Angeles