The DOJ announced that Charles Thompson, a 76-year-old former physician assistant, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and seven counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances for his role in operating two Houston-based pill mills. According to evidence presented at trial, Thompson distributed more than 1.2 million opioid pills while employed at West Parker Medical Clinic (“West Parker”) and Priority Wellness Clinic (“Priority Wellness”) between June 2015 and July 2017.
Thompson assisted doctors in unlawfully prescribing hydrocodone and carisoprodol to individuals posing as patients. Trial evidence showed that “runners” brought imposters to receive unlawful prescriptions and paid the West Parker between $220 and $500 in cash for each visit. In exchange for what has been dubbed the “Las Vegas Cocktail,” Thompson was paid over $208,000 and West Parker earned nearly $1.75 million. Similarly, Thompson assisted doctors at Priority Wellness in illegally prescribing hydrocodone and oxycodone to individuals posing as patients. Priority Wellness was paid between $300 and $600 for the illegal prescriptions, and Thompson made approximately $700 and $900 per day.
The physician Thompson assisted at West Parker, James Pierre, was also convicted of one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and seven counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances. Pierre is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Additionally, six co-conspirators have pleaded guilty in connection to this scheme. Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on October 3, 2022, and he faces 20 years in prison for each count.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with white-collar criminal and health care fraud matters. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.