Florida’s Pill Mill Doctor And Clinic Owners Charged With Racketeering And Manslaughter
MIAMI - Seven owners and operators of a now defunct pain clinic along with a physician that they employed, have been charged with Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering and eight counts of Manslaughter which resulted from the operation of Real Care Medical Group, a clinic which was set up solely for the purpose of trafficking in, and the delivery of, oxycodone, to addicts and drug dealers for monetary gain. Dr. Lynn Averill has been arrested and is being charged with the crimes in connection with the prescribing of oxycodone, alprazolam and methadone, without medical necessity and which led to the overdose deaths of at least eight patients of the clinic. This morning’s operation, which is the third phase of the high profile investigation “Operation Pill Nation,” was announced by A.D. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement (DEA), Miami Field Division; Pam Bondi, Attorney General of Florida, Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s (BSO), and John Brooks, Chief, Sunrise Police (SPD). The arrests come following a five year investigation led by the DEA in conjunction with the BSO, SPD, and the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
A review of the Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders (ARCOS) which is maintained by the DEA, established that in just six months, between January 7, 2010 through July 31, 2010, Dr. Averill purchased a total of 437,880 pills of oxycodone from wholesalers, for the sole purpose of dispensing them to her patients. During this same time frame, the national average of practitioner’s was 23,659 pills. Dr. Averill's purchase of oxycodone ranked her 25th of the top 100 practitioners in the United States and 12th in the State of Florida.
During the course of the investigation, DEA undercover agents posed as patients at the Real Care Medical Group. The agents never received a physical exam and did not present any medical necessity for medication during any of their visits, yet they were able to obtain a total of 720 oxycodone 30 mg tablets, 420 oxycodone 15 mg. tablets, three 30ml liquid oxycodone 20mg/ml, 330 alprazolam 2mg tablets and 30 Percocet tablets. As one drug dealer patient told an undercover agent while they were both waiting to see Dr. Averill, “I could sell the 'oxy' on the street in Tennessee for $80.00 a tab." The clinic price to patients ranged between $1.00 and $5.00.
Dr. Averill was made aware that her patients were dying of overdose deaths and continued to prescribe to whomever brought the cash to pay for the drugs. According to expert review, Dr. Averill’s indiscriminate prescribing methods contributed to the death of eight patients. The expert further stated that “the dosages of medications that Dr. Averill utilized would more likely be seen in patients with chronic disabling conditions such as metastatic cancer, rheumatic diseases and traumatic injuries. One would not expect young patients, who had travelled for many miles to be seen by Dr. Averill at RCMG, to require such high doses of these medications."
In addition to Dr. Averill, seven co-conspirators who owned and operated the clinic and then laundered the proceeds were also charged. Those charged include: Richard (33, of Melborne, FL), Nikhil (28, of Warren, New Jersey), Calvin (24, of Chicago, IL), Omar (50, of Altamonte, FL), Keith (29, of Melbourne, FL), Presmil (44, of Kissimmee, FL), and Diana (32, of Melbourne. FL).
This morning, DEA along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement officers worked together in executing arrests warrants throughout Florida, as well as New Jersey and Illinois. Those arrested today are: Dr. Averill, Richard Philipoff, Diana Philipoff, Omar Lorden, Kieth Petnel, Nikhil Bhasin, and Calvin Bynum. Presmil Masson, Jr. is still at large.
This investigation was conducted by the DEA Miami Tactical Diversion (TDS), which consists of the DEA, BSO, SPD, Miami-Dade PD, Hollywood PD, City of Miami PD, and the Miami Gardens PD, with the assistance of the DEA TDS in the Orlando District Office, New Jersey Field Office and the Los Angeles Field Division. This investigation is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
The charging document is merely an accusation and the defendants are assumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.