A pill mill is a facility that purports to be a traditional health clinic. In reality, it serves a location for an illegal cash grab operation. To run a pill mill, members of the medical profession will prescribe drugs such as opioids and other painkillers without conducting any physical examinations or giving any diagnoses. Last month, a Tennessee-based doctor was convicted for his role in operating a pill mill.
As reported, this week, by the Middle District of Tennessee branch of the United States Department of Justice, Dr. Samson Orusa was found guilty by a federal jury. Officially, the 59 year-old was convicted of 36 out of 45 counts. They included federal drug charges, healthcare fraud, money laundering and illegally distributing oxycodone at his medical practice. The jury acquitted Dr. Orusa of nine counts of illegally distributing oxycodone.
Orusa was convicted on the 13th of August after a two-week trial.
However, the jury returned to court last Friday. They were there to hear evidence that supported Orusa’s forfeiture of the proceeds attained from his crimes. It was determined that he would forfeit five bank accounts, one annuity, one 401K and a 2017 Mercedes Benz. The combined value was just under $1 million.
According to the DoJ report, “the evidence at trial established that Dr. Orusa, while operating a pain clinic in Clarksville, routinely prescribed oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substances without obtaining the patient’s prior medical history, performing a physical examination, or ordering diagnostic tests of patients. Evidence also established that two patients overdosed while inside Dr. Orusa’s clinic.”
Orusa’s clinic was run horribly.
Testimony during the trial revealed that his clinic had a standing room only lobby area. The public bathroom at the facility was unsanitary. As well, patients who had insurance coverage were forced to visit the clinic about four to six times a month in order to undergo cortisone shots. Orusa, in fact, threatened to withhold their pain management prescriptions if they refused the injections. Patients who paid in cash, however, were not required to accept the injections in order to get prescriptions.
Orusa wrote so many substance prescriptions that pharmacies at stores like Walmart and CVS began refusing the fill them. The DoJ also reveals that other evidence and testimony established that Orusa conducted financial transactions that were designed to disguise the nature of his unlawful activity. Evidently, he transferred the proceeds from his crimes to foreign bank accounts. He also used the illegally-obtained money to make a $12,451.00 down payment on a Mercedez-Benz. As well, Orusa wrote a check for the purchase of $100,000 in securities.
Orusa faces serious prison time.
He may receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for each drug-related count. He also faces up to 10 years in prison on each health care fraud and money laundering count. A date for sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
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