PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – A South Florida doctor and more than half a dozen employees of a pain clinic group were arrested for racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and eight counts of manslaughter, following a five year investigation.READ MORE: New Travel Restrictions In Place, Dow Drops 905 Points Over New COVID Variant Concerns
The investigation by DEA in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Sunrise Police Department found that Dr. Lynn Averill of the Real Care Medical Group, in Plantation, reportedly issued prescriptions of alprazolam, methadone and oxycodone without medical necessity.
“We will not allow any doctors or clinic owners to knowingly abuse their positions by selling or delivering highly addictive controlled substances to patients with no medical necessity,” said Attorney General Bondi.
In at least eight cases it led to the death of the patient, according to investigators.
A review records maintained by the DEA revealed that from Jan. 7, 2010 through July 31, 2010, Dr. Averill purchased nearly half a million pills of oxycodone from wholesalers. During this same time frame, the national average of approximately 2,000 practitioners was less than 25,000 pills. Dr. Averill’s purchase of oxycodone ranked her 25th of the top 100 practitioners in the country and 12th in Florida.Black Friday Shoppers Out Early Hoping To Score Deals
During the course of the investigation, DEA undercover agents posed as patients and never received a physical exam, or presented any medical necessity for medication, yet were prescribed 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.
“Our undercover agents would hear patients talk about how they traveled and what they sold the pills for,” said Kevin Stanfill with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Dr. Averill and the clinic owners were aware of patients dying from overdose deaths and continued to issue prescriptions to whomever brought cash to pay for the drugs, according to investigators.
” That’s why we worked so hard to put these drug dealers out of business,” said Stanfill.
Also charged in the investigation were Richard Philipoff from St. Cloud, Nikhil Bhasin from Warren, N.J., Calvin Bynum from Gainesville, Omar Lorden from Altamonte, Keith Petnel of Melbourne, Presmil Masson of Kissimmee and and Diana Philipoff of Melbourne.MORE NEWS: Cold Fronts Bring More Than Just Cool Dry Air To South Florida
Philipoff also set up bank accounts that received deposits and transfers from the Real Care Medical Group pain clinic, and other clinics operated and controlled by Philipoff, Bhasin and Masson in Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Orlando.