Four Defendants Arrested for Operating “Pill Mill”
Owners, Office Manager, and Doctor Charged with Illegally Selling and Distributing Large Quantities of Narcotics
ATLANTA – Four individuals have been indicted for illegally selling and distributing prescriptions for opiate-based narcotics and other controlled substances to addicts and drug dealers under the guise of a pain clinic in the Lilburn, Georgia area. Larry Webman, 64, and Randy Webman, 59, two brothers and the pain clinic owners; Dara Webman, 29, an office manager and the daughter of Randy Webman, all believed to be from Hollywood, Florida; and Dr. George Williams, 45, of Duluth, Georgia, were indicted and arrested on federal drug and distribution charges, and with unlawfully distributing drugs near a school. The clinic is adjacent to Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Georgia. Larry Webman and Randy Webman are also separately charged with maintaining a place for distributing drugs. A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on January 22, 2013.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Unscrupulous doctors illegally exploiting their license to prescribe controlled substances represent an increasing source of deadly illicit drugs in our communities. The storefronts from which these criminal enterprises operate threaten the safety of our children and the security of our neighborhoods. This office, and our law enforcement partners, remains committed to combatting prescription drug abuse and its related criminal activity in our district.”
Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Atlanta Field Division stated, “The dispensing of addictive prescription pain medication under the guise of a doctor’s care, as occurred in this investigation, is not about the good of the community or an individual’s specific health needs; it is about greed. Make no mistake; those involved in “pill mill” activity are in fact drug dealers.”
“The IRS not only enforces the nation’s tax laws, but we also work in conjunction with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle drug distribution operations occurring in our neighborhoods,” stated Special Agent in Charge, Veronica Hyman-Pillot. “IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to provide its financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”
“Our top priority in 2012 was to assist and work in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Internal Revenue Service in closing down this illegal enterprise that operated just yards from a high school housing over 3,000 students each school day. We don’t want them or any other type of illegal operation in our town whose sole mission was to pour poison into our community. I am proud of the energy and commitment by all of our partners who were steadfast and dedicated in removing this cancer from our streets and increasing our quality of life in our city,” said Bruce Hedley, Lilburn Police Chief.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information that will be presented in court: Since no later than February 2012, Larry Webman and Randy Webman have been operating an illegal enterprise, variously known as Premier Medical Management, Inc.; Premier Pain Management, Inc.; Premier Pain Management; and Premier Pain Management and Physical Therapy, located at 3993 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 110, Lilburn, Georgia. Dr. George Williams was the clinic’s prescribing physician, routinely prescribing controlled substances outside the course of professional medical practice and without legitimate medical purposes. Dara Webman worked at the clinic as an office manager handing out these prescriptions to customers in exchange for cash payments ostensibly collected for office visits.
The indictment charges that Larry Webman and Randy Webman managed and controlled the clinic. Though neither has any medical training, they often directed Dr. Williams’ decisions with respect to prescribing controlled substances. The clinic saw as many as 60 customers a day, each paying between $250 and $350 a visit, and almost always leaving with a prescription for controlled substances, which often included oxycodone, a highly addictive painkiller. Dr. Williams typically saw a customer only at the initial visit, at which time he conducted a brief examination. On return visits, a customer rarely saw Dr. Williams but was able to obtain additional prescriptions for controlled substances, pre-signed by Dr. Williams, directly from the office manager, Dara Webman. Almost all customers paid cash, and Larry Webman and Randy Webman personally oversaw the collection of the clinic’s receipts.
The clinic’s customers regularly traveled long distances to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances. Most hailed from outside the state, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. The clinic did not adhere to an appointment schedule, causing customers to park at the clinic’s entrance areas early in the morning before the clinic opened.
The indictment alleges that the clinic constituted a drug distribution operation that generated huge cash receipts. The indictment seeks forfeiture of all property used in and derived from the criminal enterprise. It also seeks forfeiture of Dr. Williams’ license to practice medicine.
Each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Lilburn Police Department.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Ajay Gupta is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.