Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Additional Charges Filed Against Doctor In Pill Mill Case

William J. O’Brien III, 49 of Philadelphia was charged today by Superseding Indictment with 23 additional counts of illegally distributing oxycodone, methadone, and amphetamines, all Schedule II controlled substances, outside the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  According to the superseding indictment, O’Brien’s so-called Apatients@ could for a fee obtain prescriptions for these addictive and dangerous controlled substances without a physical examination or any other medical care or treatment. O’Brien typically charged customers $250 cash for the first appointment to buy prescriptions and $200 for each appointment to obtain refills.

On January 29, 2015, an indictment was unsealed charging O’Brien, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and Angela Rongione, with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.  In the same indictment, O’Brien was charged separately with 26 counts of illegally distributing Oxycodone and Xanax, a Schedule IV controlled substance, for selling prescriptions for these narcotics to a government cooperator and an undercover FBI agent. The counts charged in the superseding indictment are for additional “patients” to whom O’Brien allegedly sold prescriptions.

If convicted, the defendants face substantial prison terms and fines, and are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Beth Leahy.

Updated February 24, 2015