News and Press Releases


Doctor Sentenced for His Role in Operation of Pill Mill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce that Dr. Stephen Anthony, 65, formerly of Davie, was sentenced yesterday to 70 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, Dr. Anthony was ordered to pay $552,000 in restitution. Dr. Anthony previously pled guilty to conspiring to distribute and dispense large amounts of oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice. In addition, Dr. Anthony pled guilty to money laundering and income tax evasion.

According to court documents, Anthony agreed to forfeit $338,300 in money and property representing the illegal narcotics proceeds he earned as a result of his involvement as a physician at Broward Urgent Care in Fort Lauderdale. As set forth in the plea agreement, between April 2010 and February 2011, Anthony was employed as a clinic doctor at Broward Urgent Care which, at the time, was owned by co-conspirators, Vincent Colangelo and Nicholaus Thomas. Colangelo pled guilty to narcotics, money laundering and federal income tax offenses on April 2, 2012, arising from his ownership of six pill mill clinics and pharmacies in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Thomas pled guilty on November 18, 2011 to narcotics and money laundering charges. Colangelo and Thomas sold Broward Urgent Care to Anthony after the Florida legislature enacted legislation in October 2010 requiring that pain management clinics be owned by licensed physicians. According to a review of medical records, while at Broward Urgent Care, Anthony wrote 12,510 prescriptions for oxycodone and 5,776 prescriptions for Xanax, and more than 99% of Anthony’s patients received prescriptions for oxycodone. In total, Anthony prescribed 42,374,370 milligrams of oxycodone during the ten months he worked as a physician at Broward Urgent Care.

According to the plea agreement, between 2000 and 2007, Anthony evaded the payment of approximately $556,262 in individual income and employment taxes. Anthony evaded taxes by depositing monies into a bank account in the name of a third party. Instead of paying taxes, Anthony purchased thousands of dollars in personal items including jewelry and automobiles.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Oxycodone is one of the most abused prescription medications in Florida and throughout the United States. Every day individuals die from prescription drug overdoses. Dr. Anthony, while a physician at Broward Urgent Care, nefariously hid behind his medical license and prescribed over a million pills of oxycodone during a ten-month period. Thanks to the dedicated work of our federal and local law enforcement partners, Dr. Anthony was convicted and stands behind bars, no longer able to practice medicine.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge José A. Gonzalez stated, “This sentencing sends a clear message that specialists who hide behind their medical licenses to commit illegal activities for profit, will be discovered, investigated and prosecuted. IRS-CI will account for the monies derived from the illegal activity to ensure that the proper amount of tax is paid and the money laundering transactions are charged.....sending the message that crime does not pay.”

This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The OCDETF mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking enterprises, bringing together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Ferrer and Assistant Attorney General Keneally commended the IRS-CI, DEA, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office, as well as the many other state and local agencies for their investigative work. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Behnke and Roger Powell and DOJ Tax Division Trial Attorney Greg Tortella.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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