Oxycontin | Pill Mill Indictment

Pill Mill Indictment
With all the news these days about Pill Mills we decided to publish a redacted full text version of a successful Pill Mill Federal Indictment I recently reviewed. The indictment targeted doctors and staff. The indictment also sought to claim the doctor's DEA Number, his medical license, and property.

A downloadable version of a typical Pill Mill Indictment and Forfeiture case in Federal Court is available here.

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
TAMPA DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v. XXXXXX

INDICTMENT

The Grand Jury charges:

COUNT ONE

A. Introduction

At times material to this Indictment, or for the specific dates set forth below:

1. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) governed the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances in the United States. With limited exceptions for medical professionals, the CSA made it “unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally. . . to manufacture, distribute, or dispense. . . a controlled substance” or conspire to do so.

2. The CSA and its implementing regulations set forth which drugs and other substances were defined by law as “controlled substances.” and those controlled substances were then assigned to one of five schedules, Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V, depending on their potential for abuse, likelihood of physical or psychological
dependency, accepted medical use, and accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

3. Pursuant to the CSA and its implementing regulations, Oxycodone, the generic name for a highly addictive prescription painkiller, the abuse of which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependance, was classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance, and sold generically or under a variety of brand names, including Roxicodone, Roxicet, Oxycontin, Percocet, and Endocet. Oxycodone, when legally was prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose, typically was used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Oxycodone also was listed as a Schedule II Controlled Substance under Florida Statute Section 893.03(2)(a)1 .0.

4. Pursuant to the CSA and its implementing regulations, Morphine, the generic name for a highly addictive prescription painkiller, the abuse of which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependance, was classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance, and sold generically or under a variety of brand names, including MS Contin, Roxanol, Oramorph, RMS and MSIR. Morphine, when legally was prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose, typically was used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Morphine also was listed as a Schedule II Controlled Substance under Florida Statute Section 893.03(2)(a)1 .n.

5. Pursuant to the CSA and its implementing regulations, Hydrocodone, the generic name for an addictive prescription painkiller, the abuse of which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependance, was classified as a Schedule Ill Controlled Substance, and sold generically or under a variety of brand names, including Vicodin, Vicoprofin, Lortab, Lorcet, and Norco. When Hydrocodone legally was prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose, it typically was used to combat moderate to moderately severe pain. Hydrocodone was listed as a Schedule II Controlled Substance under Florida Statute Section 893.03(2)(a)1 .j.

6. Pursuant to the GSA and its implementing regulations, Alprazolam, was classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, and sold generically or under he brand name Xanax. When prescribed for a legitimate medical purpose, it typically was used to treat anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and anxiety caused by depression. Alprazolam also was listed as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance under Florida Statute 893.03(4)(a).

7. Medical practitioners authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances by the jurisdiction in which they were licensed to practice medicine were authorized under the GSA to write prescriptions for or otherwise dispense controlled substances if they were registered with the Attorney General of the United States. Such medical practitioners were each assigned a unique registration number by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

8. Under Chapter 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section

1306.04(a), medical practitioners registered with the DEA could not issue a prescription unless it was “issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his professional practice. . . . An order purporting to be a prescription issued not in the usual course of professional treatment or in legitimate and authorized research (was] not a prescription within the meaning and intent of [the CSAJ and the person knowingly filling such a purported prescription, as well as the person issuing it, [was] subject to the penalties provided for violations of the provisions relating to controlled substances.”

9. The Florida Department of Health (DOH), Office of Medical Quality Assurance, Tallahassee, Florida, regulated the licensing and practice of medical doctors and other medical practitioners in the State of Florida. The Florida State laws concerning the practice of medicine were set forth to ensure that every physician practicing in Florida meets the minimum standards and requirements for safe practice. The DOH prohibited medical physicians from practicing in Florida when they fell below the minimum competency and licensing requirements or otherwise presented a danger to the public.

10. Florida Statute Section 458.326 authorized licensed physicians to prescribe or administer controlled substances under Schedules II through V to a person for treatment of intractable pain, provided that the physician did so in accordance with that level of care, skill, and treatment recognized by a reasonable prudent physician under similar conditions and circumstances.

11. All physicians licensed in Florida were required to comply with the Standards for the Use of Controlled Substances For Treatment of Pain for the practice of medicine in Rules 64B8-9.01 3 of the Florida Administrative Code.

12. Florida Statute Section 458.347(4) authorized a licensed supervising physician to delegate, under very closely monitored circumstances, to a fully licensed physician assistant, the authority to prescribe or dispense any medication used in the supervisory physician’s practice, except that it specifically prohibited the delegation of such authority to prescribe, administer or dispense such medications listed in the formulary promulgated in Rule 64B8-30.008 of the Florida Administrative Code, which included controlled substances as defined in the Florida Statute Section 893.

13. Florida Statute Sections 893.04(1)(b) and 458.331 (1 )(aa) required that written prescriptions for controlled substances must be dated and signed by the prescribing practitioner on the day when issued and made the practice of pre-signing blank prescription forms subject to disciplinary action by the Florida Medical Board or Department of Health.

B. DEFENDANTS

14. Defendant XXXXX was a physician with an active license to practice medicine issued by the State of Florida and was registered with the DEA to dispense, administer and prescribe controlled substances in Schedules II through V. Defendant XXXXX was certified to practice in the areas of Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pain Management and Vascular and Interventional Radiology, and practiced primarily out of a medical business known as” Neurology and Pain Center,” with clinics located in Tampa, Sarasota, Lakeland, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida.

15. Defendant XXXXX was a physician assistant with an active licence to practice in the State of Florida, effective October 1, 2007, under the supervision of Defendant XXXXX. Defendant XXXXX practiced out of the medical business known as “Neurology and Pain Center,” at the clinics located in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida. Defendant XXXXX was prohibited in the State of Florida from dispensing, administering or prescribing controlled substances.

16. Defendant XXXXX was licensed in the State of Florida as an Emergency Medical Technician and a Radiologic Basic Machine Operator, and was an employee at the medical business known as “Neurology and Pain Center,” at the clinics located in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida, but was not licensed as a nurse, physician assistant or medical doctor.

17. Defendant XXXXX was an employee at the medical business known as “Neurology and Pain Center,” at the clinics located in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida, but was not a medical professional licensed in any capacity in the State of Florida.

C. THE AGREEMENT

18. From an unknown date, but at least beginning in or about 2005 and continuing through on or about the date of this Indictment, in the Middle District of Florida, the defendants,

XXXXX

did knowingly and willfully conspire with each other and other persons, both known and unknown, to knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense, and cause the distribution and dispensing of, Controlled Substances, primarily Oxycodone, a Schedule II Controlled Substance; Morphine, a Schedule II Controlled Substance; Hydrocodone, a Schedule Ill Controlled Substance; and Alprazolam, a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, not for a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice, contrary to Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1).

D. MANNER AND MEANS OF THE CONSPIRACY

The manner and means of this conspiracy included the following:

19. It was part of the conspiracy that the defendants would and did knowingly open, use, operate and maintain places of business, including but not limited to the Neurology & Pain Centers located at 8451 Shade Avenue, Suite 108, Sarasota, Florida; 9301 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, Florida; 10033 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, Florida; 1810 Lakeland Hills, Lakeland, Florida; 823 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida; 1525 East Amelia Street, Orlando, Florida; 1680 Dunn Avenue, Unit #34, Jacksonville, Florida, and 500 Park Street North, St. Petersburg, Florida, for the purpose of unlawfully distributing and dispensing and causing the unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances.

20. It was part of the conspiracy that the defendants would and did knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense and cause to be distributed and dispensed controlled substances not for a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice in one or more of the following manners:

(a) without adequate verification of the patient’s identity or medical complaint;

(b) without adequate and reliable patient medical history;

(c) without performance of a complete or adequate mental or physical examination;

(d) without establishment of a true diagnosis;

(e) without the use of appropriate diagnostic or laboratory testing;

(f) without sufficient dialogue with the patient regarding treatment options and risks and benefits of such treatments;

(g) without establishment of a treatment plan;

(h) without consideration of, or discussion with the patient, regarding, alternatives to treatment other than narcotics;

(i) without referral of patients to specialists in an effort to identify and correct the cause of pain;

(j) without any assessment of risk of abuse for individual patients; (k) without provision of a means to follow up with the patient or to monitor the patient’s response to the medication or compliance with medical usage; and

(k) without maintaining true, accurate and complete medical records that justified the course of treatment for each patient, including but not limited to medical history, physical examination results, diagnostic therapeutic and laboratory results, evaluations and consultations, treatment plans and objectives, discussions of risks and benefits, records of all medications prescribed, dispensed, or administered, instructions and agreements, and periodic reviews.

21. It was part of the conspiracy that the defendants would and did knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense controlled substances and cause controlled substances to be distributed and dispensed to patients knowing that the patients were addicted to the controlled substances, were misusing or abusing the controlled substances, or were requesting additional quantities of controlled substances to support the patient’s own addictions, or to share with or give the controlled substances away to others.

22. It was further part of the conspiracy that the defendants would and did knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense controlled substances and cause controlled substances to be unlawfully distributed and dispensed to patients by persons unauthorized to do so and without the physical presence, participation and adequate supervision of the prescribing physician.

23. It was further part of the conspiracy that the defendants would and did knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense controlled substances and cause controlled substances to be unlawfully distributed and dispensed to patients by using pre-signed blank prescription forms upon which unauthorized and unsupervised persons would fill in the controlled substance and dosage to be prescribed.

24. It was further part of the conspiracy that the defendants would and did perform and cause to be performed acts, and make and cause to be made statements, to hide and conceal the purpose of the conspiracy and the acts committed in furtherance thereof.

All in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841(b)(1)(C) and 841(b)(1)(D).

COUNTS TWO THROUGH THIRTEEN

On or about the dates set forth below in each Count, in the Middle District of Florida, the defendants, as set forth below, knowingly and intentionally distributed and dispensed, caused to be distributed and dispensed, and aided and abetted in the distribution and dispensing of, Controlled Substances, as set forth below, which distribution and dispensing was not for a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice, as charged in the chart below, each such instance being a separate Count of the Indictment:

TWO
XXXXX
120 Hydrocodone tablets (under the brand name “Lortab”)
THREE
XXXXX
120 Hydrocodone tablets (under the brand name “Lortab”)
FOUR
XXXXX
150 Oxycodone tablets (under brand name “Endocet”)
FIVE
XXXXX
150 Oxycodone tablets (under brand name “Endocet”)
SIX
XXXXX
150 Oycodone tablets (under brand name “Endocet”)
SEVEN
XXXXX
150 Oxycodone tablets (under brand name “Endocet”)
EIGHT
XXXXX
120 Oxycodone tablets
NINE
XXXXX
120 Oxycodone tablets (under the brand name “ROXICODONE”)
TEN
XXXXX
120 Oxycodone tablets (under the brand name “ROXICODONE”) and 60 Alprazolam tablets (under the brand name “Xanax”)
ELEVEN
XXXXX
120 Oxycodone tablets (under the brand name “ROXICODONE”)
TWELVE
XXXXX
90 Morphine tablets (under the brand name “MS Contin”), 120 Hydrocodone tablets (under the brand name “Lortab”), and 60 Alprazolam tablets (under the brand name “Xanax”)
THIRTEEN
XXXXX
60 Oxycodone tablets (under the brand name “Oxycontin”), and 90 Hydrocodone tablets (under the brand name “Lortab”)

All in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C) and 841(b)(1)(D); Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.

FORFEITURE

1. The allegations contained in Counts One through Thirteen of this Indictment are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference for the purpose of alleging forfeiture pursuant to the provisions of Title 21, United States Code, Section 853.

2. From their engagement in any and all of the violations alleged in Counts One through Thirteen of this Indictment, punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, the defendants,

XXXXX,

shall forfeit to the United States, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Sections 853(a)(1) and (2), all of their interest in:

a. property constituting and derived from any proceeds the defendants obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of such violations;

b. property used and intended to be used in any manner or part to commit and to facilitate the commission of such violations;

3. The specific property to be forfeited includes, but is not limited to:

a. Defendant XXXXX DEA Registration Numbers BF9679258, BF9592521 and BF9592569;

b. Defendant XXXXX Florida Medical License #ME43369;

c. Defendant XXXXX Florida Physician Assistant License #PA9I 04389; and

d. Gross proceeds received by the defendants from illegal acts charged in Counts One through Thirteen.

4. If any of the property described above, as a result of any act or omission of the defendants:

a. cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence;

b. has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with, a third party;

c. has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court;

d. has been substantially diminished in value; or

e. has been commingled with other property which cannot be divided without difficulty, the United States of America shall be entitled to forfeiture of substitute property under the provisions of Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p).

A TRUE BILL,

Foreperson

A. BRIAN ALBRITTON
United States Attorney

Deputy Chief, Narcotics Section

Questions about Pill Mill Charges in State or Federal Court? 


Call Me at 1-877-793-9290.


Pill Mill Indictment