Defendant Charged in Superseding Information in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Pill Mill Operation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 28, 2012|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Miami Field Office; Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the filing of a superseding information against Steven Goodman, 67, of St. Petersburg, Florida, in the continuation of Operation Oxy Alley, a coordinated investigation into pill mills in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. To date, 27 defendants have pled guilty, 26 have been sentenced, and one is pending sentence on an indictment unsealed on August 23, 2011, which charged 32 defendants, including Goodman.
The indictment alleged that defendants Christopher and Jeffrey George, twin brothers, operated, managed, and financed four pain management clinics in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. According to the indictment and statements made in court, from 2008 to early 2010, these pill mills distributed approximately 20 million oxycodone pills and made more than $40 million from the illegal sales of controlled substances. Thirteen of the 32 defendants were doctors.
Today, the United States Attorney filed a one-count superseding information charging Steven Goodman with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Goodman is a pharmaceutical wholesaler who owned and operated Medical Arts Pharmacy Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to the superseding information, Goodman used the U.S. mail to devise and carry out a scheme to defraud and deceive the Drug Enforcement Administration. To execute the scheme, Goodman shipped large quantities of controlled substances to clinics owned and operated by the George brothers without first conducting due diligence activities as required by federal law.
The investigation and prosecution was the result of work by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The FBI, DEA, and IRS-CID were assisted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Hollywood Police Department, the Boca Raton Police Department, and the Davie Police Department. Coordination efforts also included cooperation by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office, Delray Beach Police Department, Jupiter Police Department, West Palm Beach Police Department, Boynton Beach Police Department, Medley Police Department, Homestead Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, and Sunny Isles Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul F. Schwartz and Lawrence D. LaVecchio.
An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.