Physician Sentenced for $1.2M Pill Mill Scheme
HOUSTON – A Texas doctor has been sentenced to seven years in prison for operating a pill mill clinic that unlawfully prescribed over 600,000 opioid pills in exchange for cash.
A federal jury convicted Dr. Oscar Lightner, 73, Laredo, April 11 of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances and conspiracy.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Lightner and his stepson Andres Martinez Jr., 29, Laredo, operated Jomori Health and Wellness (Jomori), a purported Houston pain management clinic, as a pill mill. Lightner, who was the owner of and physician at Jomori, unlawfully prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled substances — including of hydrocodone, carisoprodol and alprazolam — to his patients without a legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments ranging from $250 to $500.
Martinez, who was Jomori’s office manager and Lightner’s stepson, coordinated with crew leaders to bring multiple people, including individuals living in homeless shelters, into Jomori to pose as patients to obtain prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances. Jomori received over $1.2 million in cash over 14 months through its scheme that resulted in the unlawful distribution and dispensing of more than 600,000 opioids and other controlled substances.
Martinez is set for sentencing Dec. 12
U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Houston Division made the announcement.
The DEA conducted the investigation.
Trial Attorneys Monica Cooper and Andrew Tamayo of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.
Patients receiving treatment at this practice who feel they want to change providers may contact their primary care provider for continued care. Individuals needing access to primary care or pain management service can find a new provider through a local Federal Qualified Health Center at Find a Health Center (hrsa.gov). Patients with insurance should contact their health insurance company.
Outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) programs are available to all persons looking for information about substance use services. For immediate and confidential help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, please call the OSAR in your region. Find OSAR and substance use services in your area on the Substance Use Service Locations map. You may also request help by contacting 211 Texas or calling 877-541-7905.