The clinics wrote prescriptions for massive quantities of oxycodone, which were trafficked throughout the United States.
Among the 32 people arrested Tuesday were twin brothers Jeffrey and Christopher George, 30, who investigators said are the ringleaders of South Florida's largest pill mill network. They operated four clinics in Broward and Palm Beach counties which dispensed millions of doses of the narcotic pain pills.
Started by Selling Steroids
They also made millions by selling illegal steroids over the Internet and by selling phony time-shares through telemarketing.
The indictments returned Tuesday included not only charges of illegal drug sales, but also fraud, racketeering, wire and mail fraud conspiracy and murder. One of the clinic doctors was charged with first-degree murder for prescribing 210 pain pills to a man who overdosed a few hours later.
Jeffrey George was charged with second-degree murder in the man's death.
Doctors Wrote Thousands of Prescriptions
Of the 32 people indicted Tuesday, 13 were doctors, ranging in age from 36 to 76, who worked in the pain clinics and were paid up to $1.8 million a year.
Of those doctors charged, court papers show that Dr. Beau Boshers prescribed more than 1 million doses of oxycodone over a 20-month period, Dr. Michael Aruta, 916,000, and Dr. Cynthia Cadet, 876,000.
At a news conference Tuesday, authorities said the pain clinics were making so much money, employees were carting cash away in garbage bags. Agents have seized $13.7 million in assets from the group, including $4.3 million from the attic of the home of Denice Haggerty, the George brothers' mother.
Four Pain Clinics Closed
Court papers have been filed to seize an estimated $40 million in cash, vehicles, real estate and other assets.
The pain clinics closed by Tuesday's crackdown included American Pain, Executive Pain, Hallandale Pain, East Coast Pain in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The George bothers are from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Earlier this year, six other South Florida pain clinic owners and operators were indicted for dispensing more than 660,000 doses of oxycodone for $22 million in profits.
- George Brothers, 30 Others Arrested in Pain Clinic Chain
- Investigators Charge 13 Doctors in Pill Mill Crimes
- Agents Dismantle Alleged Pill Mills That Netted $40 Million