Former Pain Management Clinic Owner Sentenced to Over 16 Years for Unlawful Opioid Distribution
A Florida man was sentenced today in the Southern District of Florida to 200 months in prison for illegally distributing opioids at his pain management clinic in Miami, Florida.
According to court documents, Habib Geagea Palacios, 40, of Miami, owned General Care Center Inc., a cash-only pain management clinic in Miami. At General Care, Palacios paid doctors to prescribe opioids to nearly all patients who visited the clinic, resulting in the illegal distribution of more than three million oxycodone pills and generating $9 million in cash. Seven doctors who worked at General Care have been charged in connection with their unlawful prescribing practices at the clinic, and six have pleaded guilty to date.
Palacios pleaded guilty on Nov. 9, 2021, to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of distributing a controlled substance. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Palacios was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office; Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter of the DEA’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Brian Swain of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
The HHS-OIG, FBI, DEA, and USSS are investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Alexander Thor Pogozelski of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Larsen for the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.