Pain Clinic Owners And Medical Directors Indicted For Alleged “Pill Mill” Relocated From Florida To Maryland
“Pharmaceutical Pills can be Just as Harmful as Illegal Drugs”
Baltimore, Maryland - Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted the three owners and two medical directors of Healthy Life Medical Group, a purported pain management clinic, on drug conspiracy and other charges. The indictment was returned on September 3, 2014, and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants. Charged in the indictment are:
Michael Resnick, a/k/a Michael Reznikov, age 53, of Brooklyn, New York;
Resnick’s wife, Alina Margulis, age 48, also of Brooklyn, New York;
Gerald Wiseberg, a/k/a Gerry Wiseberg and Jerry Wiseberg, age 81, of Boca Raton, Florida;
William Crittenden III, age 50, of Kensington, Maryland; and
Daniel Alexander, age 51, of Pikesville, Maryland.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
“Medical professionals who distribute oxycodone without valid medical need place users in grave danger,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Pharmaceutical pills can be just as harmful as illegal drugs when they are used without proper oversight.”
“Pill Mills that are established to masquerade as legitimate pain management facilities by purported health care professionals will not be tolerated by DEA,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Those who operate these facilities do so out of pure greed and disregard for human life. I am proud of the combined efforts of DEA, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Baltimore County States Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office during this three year investigation. The arrests today prove that our work is not done yet. We will remain diligent in our efforts to end prescription drug abuse and hold pill mill doctors accountable.”
According to the indictment, from March 1, 2011 through May 15, 2012, Resnick, Margulis and Wiseberg owned and operated Healthy Life Medical Group, a purported “pain management” clinic in Maryland. Physicians William Crittenden and Daniel Alexander served as the medical directors of Healthy Life.
The 43-count indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to distribute drugs, especially oxycodone and alprazolam, outside the scope of professional practice and/or not for a legitimate medical purpose to cash-paying customers, the majority of whom were not from Maryland and were abusing, misusing, and distributing the drugs.
From March 2010 through February 2011, Gerald Wiseberg owned and operated Total Care Medical Center, a pain management clinic located in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The DEA executed a search and seizure warrant at Total Care in February 2011, and as a result, Total Care was forced to temporarily shut down. According to the indictment, at about that time, Wiseberg approached Resnick and Margulis about opening a similar pain management clinic in Maryland. After visiting Total Care and being trained by Wiseberg in the operation of the business, Resnick and Margulis opened Healthy Life, with Wiseberg as part owner of the business. Wiseberg also served as a consultant to Resnick and Margulis, for which he was paid $12,000 per month. William Crittenden was hired by Resnick, Margulis and Wiseberg, to serve as the medical director of Healthy Life, for which he was paid $1,500 per day, until his resignation in August 2011. Daniel Alexander was hired as medical director in September 2011. Healthy Life first opened in Owings Mills, Maryland, but in October 2011, moved to a larger office in Timonium, Maryland.
The indictment alleges that customers to Healthy Life paid at least $300 for an initial visit and at least $250 for all subsequent visits and the fees were collected upfront. Further the indictment alleges that more than 80% of Healthy Life’s customers came from out of state. According to the indictment, between April 2011 and August 17, 2011, Crittenden issued prescriptions to 1,051 customers on 1,874 separate office visits for approximately 328,520 oxycodone pills - a total dosage amount of 7,631,085 mg of oxycodone. Between September 2011 and March 2012, Alexander issued prescriptions to 624 customers on 946 separate office visits for approximately 178,151 oxycodone pills - a total dosage amount of 3,879,500 mg of oxycodone. On each office visit with Crittenden and Alexander, customers received a least one prescription for oxycodone more than 96% of the time.
From March 2011 through March 13, 2012, customers allegedly paid Resnick, Margulis and Wiseberg, through Healthy Life, at least $2 million for office visits. Most of these proceeds were collected as cash. According to the indictment, although Healthy Life regularly received more than $10,000 in cash payments per day, Resnick made deposits of less than $10,000 into bank accounts he controlled with his wife, and instructed the office manager at Healthy Life to also make cash deposits of less than $10,000, in order to avoid detection by law enforcement.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $2 million from all the defendants for the drug distribution conspiracy. The indictment seeks forfeiture from Michael Resnick in the amount of $1,012,410, for the structuring of currency deposits.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the conspiracy. Crittenden and Alexander also face a maximum of 20 years in prison for narcotics distribution. Resnick, Margulis and Wiseberg face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for maintaining a drug involved premises. Resnick and Margulis face a maximum of 10 years in prison for money laundering; and Resnick faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for structuring of currency deposits. Resnick and Margulis are expected to have an initial appearance later today in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York. Initial appearances are scheduled for William Crittenden today and for Daniel Alexander on September 15, 2014, both in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. No court appearance has been scheduled for Gerald Wiseberg.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, IRS-CI, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorneys’ Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys David I. Sharfstein and Jason D. Medinger, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.