TN Doctor Arrested on 105-Count Indictment3, Rings & Mills, Scandalous Schemes — By Trace America on May 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM
A Chattanooga doctor has been accused of running a “pill mill” and is now faced with 105-count federal indictment that includes charges from health care fraud, income tax evasion, and money laundering to using a firearm in the operation of a criminal enterprise.
According to the Times Free Press, Ihsaan al-Amin, also known as Robert O’Neil Robinson Jr., was arrested on May 29th at his O’Neil Medical Clinic and was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Susan Lee later in the day. If convicted, the 61-year-old is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison, plus an additional five years if convicted of the weapons charge.
Officials claim that al-Amin was running a cash-only “pill mill” in which he prescribed or sold large quantities of painkillers and other drugs for other than medical purposes to local residents and out-of-state buyers.
The indictment against al-Amin alleges that, on 99 separate occasions from at least 2009 to 2010, he prescribed or dispensed pain medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone to patients “not for a legitimate medical purpose.”
Court documents note that al-Amin was released on a $100,000 bond that his wife, Jessie Muse al-Amin, promised to be responsible for.
As part of conditions of his bond, al-Amin is not allowed to practice medicine. His wife began working at the clinic back in February, and MacCoon stated that she could continue to work to assure their ability to pay for an attorney.
Al-Amin’s trial date is set for August 6th.
According to a report from the Kaiser Foundation, Tennessee is one of the top three states in the US for the number of prescriptions written per population. The Times Free Press archives state that an estimated 18 prescriptions are written each year for every person in the state.
So far, two bills have been passed this year with the intent of curbing the “pill mill” epidemic.
One bill now requires that pain management clinics be certified with the state and have a doctor present at least one-third of its operating hours. The other requires doctors to update patient prescription databases every seven days, in comparison to the previous requirement of every 40 days.
An Associated Press analysis shows that oxycodone and hydrocodone sales have increased dramatically in the past decade. Between 2000 and 2010, oxycodone sales in Tennessee increased more than 500%, while hydrocodone sales rose by nearly 300% in the same period.
The weapons charge against al-Amin stems from his habit of carrying a 9 mm pistol while he worked and storing a .380-caliber handgun in the reception area of his clinic, according to the indictment.
Money transactions from the illegal activity are shown through two 2007 transactions in which al-Amin transferred first $12,000 then $15,163 to Diversified Healthcare Services.
Two counts of income tax evasion are also detailed: $113,204 owed to the IRS from 2006 and $93,092 from 2009.
Lee found al-Amin’s declaration of no owned property puzzling when reviewing whether or not he qualified for an appointed attorney. On April 15, 2010 agents searched his clinic, listing nearly $23,000 in seized cash.
This post is authored by Trace America.